The hubby and I have spent quite a few Christmases together at this point. That is a lot of ornament hanging to be sure. When we had our first Christmas together we came from two different holiday traditions; my family had an artificial tree, his had a real tree. There were other differences but when you get down to decorations, the heart is the tree. There are pros and cons to each type of tree – which does your family choose, an artificial or real Christmas tree?
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Do You Have an Artificial or Real Christmas Tree?
For the first 35 years we went out every year and got a real tree. I was as happy to move over to the real tree side. In the early years of our marriage we would go to a tree farm and pick out a tree. In fact, it became an annual party with friends. We would all gather together, drive to the farm and get our trees and then come back to our house for dinner.
In our first house the trees needed to be small as the roof was low. Then we moved to our Victorian and there we had 12 foot ceilings so I could pick a much larger tree. Then we moved into the fifthwheel which again demanded a small tree and then into the yurt where the sky (18′ anyway) was the limit.
Why a Real Tree?
There is a certain romance to having a real Christmas tree. It smells like the forest for one thing and I am the first to admit that I love the smell of pine. A real tree also offers a variety when it comes to shape – it’s true! Some are fat, some are thin, some are tall, and some are short. You can find a real tree to suit any room.
There are also different varieties of real tree from the types of firs to a pine to a spruce. Each offers something unique and it’s up to you to decide what you like. I always like the good old, classic Fraser fir.
One last benefit to a real tree – they are recyclable. When we still had the goats the hubby would haul the tree out and distribute it among them. I called it their goat tree-t. After the goats left he would chip it up and add it to the mulch so it didn’t go to waste.
Why an Artificial Tree?
This year for the first time ever we bought an artificial Christmas tree. I didn’t know what to expect. There were several reasons for the decision but the two main ones were the increasing cost of real trees – last year they were $75! – and the hubby is getting older. It was getting harder for him to put the lights on the tree so buying a prelit Christmas tree was much easier for him.
As it turns out I am quite happy with the artificial tree. It did stink a little when it first came out of the box but the smell dissipated rather quickly. It set up quite easily – not that I have experience with that. They hubby did the assembly. I decorated it and I found it much easier to do so with a tree where you can bend the branches where you want them to go.
There is no needle drop with a fake tree nor is there any need to water it every day. I also like that I can put it up earlier so that I can enjoy it for much longer.
Some Favorite Ornaments
I love to show off my favorite ornaments. They tell a tale, my tree decorations. Every time the hubby and I went somewhere we bought an ornament as a souvenir. I marked important events with ornaments and family has given me ornaments through the years. The chandelier above was a memory from our trip to Italy. We didn’t buy there – we found others to bring home from that trip. When I visited the Uffizi Gallery I fell in love with the chandeliers – as well as the beautiful art.
The little mercury glass ornaments on either side of Kermit are a recent addition. There are 18 of them dispersed on the tree. The hubby and I found them on a day trip to Wallace, Idaho. They have a lovely sparkle to them.
I have a rather significant collection of Hallmark Ornaments. I don’t know how old this little frog couple is – I could look for the date but I was too lazy. It makes me smile every time I pull it out of the box.
We picked up this horse when we stayed on Chincoteague Island. We woke up every morning to a horse in our campsite.
I love putting the tree up every year because it’s such a trip down memory lane for me. Each ornament brings back a happy thought whether it’s of a place or a person.
What’s Under the Tree Counts Too
The corner of the house dedicated to the cats gets all discombobbled when the tree gets set up. I do leave a couple of things there for them and as you can see Sherpa is not too disturbed. I am very lucky in that my cats do not bother the Christmas tree.