Monday, December 17, 2012

Tree Trimming and Traditions

This weekend we did some of our Christmas traditions, mainly our tree trimming!  This was our first year to buy a real tree and I wrestled with the decision.  We have, in the past, used a fake tree for two main reasons: cost (one time cost with many uses) and environmentally friendly (get it, we 'live on less'!  We save our money, to splurge on fun stuff, but we also try to live on less when it comes to our earth/environment!).

Our fake tree has seen better days and it really is time for a new one.  So this year Hubs-To-Be and I discussed the idea of possibly getting a real one.  His pros for a real tree mostly surrounded around the smell- he loves that 'Christmas'/wood/forest-y smell.  I started to come around when I thought back on my found memories of going to pick out a tree.  I can't explain it exactly, but I was so excited to go with my family and find 'the perfect one'.  I called Auntie Mary did my research and found out some pricing ideas on trees.  I remembered a pretty penny being spent in those lots on the corner and I thought if I was looking at $80 for a real tree I might as well put that chunk towards a nice fake one.  Auntie Mary had recently posted a photo on Facebook of her beautiful (real) tree.  When she told be she'd gotten it at Home Depot for a steal ($25) I thought about it some more. After much hemming and hawing we finally decided.  At least for this year, we'd go pick out a real tree.

I am so glad we did.  I thought with 5 of us it might be a catastrophe but the boys just enjoyed jumping around and looking at the trees. K liked whichever one his sister, Jelly Bean, said she did (rare but I'm not complaining) and Hubs-To-Be found two good ones to pick from.  After our decision was made we took 'him' home (why he decided our tree was a him, I'm not sure, but I'm rolling with it :)).  We grabbed a stand for $15 so our total was $40 (you can order a tree standnow and with two day free shipping get it well before Christmas).  Not bad and far less than I remember my parents and grandparents spending on real trees back when I had no concept of money and surely picked the most expensive ones (I have impeccable taste, what can I say :)).

Tree trimming tradition for us includes many many cookies (to choose from, we don't eat them all!), hot chocolate (a MUST according to Jelly Bean) and Christmas music.  We pick our favorites and always seem to break at least one in the process.  We have a toddler in the house (again- I feel like K was just a toddler!) so all the plastic and 'non' breakables are on the bottom.  We always top our tree with a Santa hat.  It stemmed years ago when we did our first tree together and realized we had no topper.  This tradition has stuck and I love that Santa hat up there. 

Next week we'll do our stockings;each child decorates there's each year (with ribbons, stickers paint and anything else I find on sale!).  It's really fun to take the previous ones out and see the difference each year, but more on that later.

I'm interested to hear your input so comment below! What are some of your tree trimming (or holiday) traditions?  Fake or real tree? 

Happy Holidays!

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  1. I need to do that I am so behind on decorating its not funny

  2. Beautiful tree and fun looking traditions! We have a fake tree and always have... but I may decide to toss it next year. It's a prelit tree and this year the lights wouldn't work; hubby pulled them all off (more work than it sounds like) so it's good for just a little longer. My mom's parents always have a real tree though and I know they aren't nearly as pricey as the fake ones. I'm usually all for investing more now to save in the longrun, but sometimes we just don't have what we just don't have, and we may go for a real one next year. :) Thanks for the article!

  3. I love your traditions, we started our own traditions when we combined our families 10 years ago, and yours are amazing :) Beautiful tree as well :)

  4. i love the family times.. this is a great review

  5. I love making memories with family traditions. We have decided on a real tree next year. I loved the photos of your day! Making memories and passing on your traditions is where it's at!

  6. My children are all grown and live in another state, so it's just me and my guy for the holidays. We live in a condo, so we don't have the option of doing a real tree. Wow, that would be fun though, bringing it up to the 4th floor. (laughing)
    I still have to get our little tree out and decorate it. We went to a Saint's game this weekend as a gift to each other. It has been really hard to get into the spirit of decorating. Your post has gotten me in the mood. I loved seeing your pictures and reading about your experience.

    1. We live in a house next to a lake surrounded by trees, so for me bringing one in isnt something we do..I bought our $300 fake prelit vision...on clearance last spring for about $30 shipped from good ol Home Depot..I am Happy, Kids are happy, even Mic is happy (o he is only happy that he didnt have a huge expense, no pine needles and that the ids are old enough to decorate with out him...his job is to critic and watch football...o not exactly glamorous but it works for our family...I am envious of the pine scent though!!


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