*I actually wrote this a year ago when my blog was only an idea and not a reality. I’ve been saving it ever since I created my blog to post this month. An early but very Merry Christmas to all of my readers! 🙂 Thanks for sticking with me over the past few months and supporting me along the way. I’m excited for what’s to come in 2018.*
What is it about Christmas trees that makes everything you do around them seem suddenly magical? Right now, I am typing this while I am sitting next to our Christmas tree, and there is an extra sense of magic and wonder in the air. Today isn’t anything special, but being next to the Christmas tree makes the day not seem so ordinary. Watching TV or a movie night might seem mundane, but doing this next to a Christmas tree? Magical. Reading? You betcha. Drinking coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or really any kind of beverage warm or cold? Absolutely. Perhaps it’s because we know that the tree will only be up for a few short weeks that we try and soak up as much time next to this beauty as we possibly can. The temporariness of this extra item in our living room makes us want to hold onto it that much more. Maybe being next to the tree reminds us of our childhood before we found out the truth about the guy in the red suit with a white beard. It brings us back to a time when we were full of hope that we would wake up to a snow-covered lawn. It makes us yearn for the time when no gift, no matter the size, was a disappointment or something we’d be returning the next day for store credit because the surprise of the gift itself was excitement enough. For some of us, being near a Christmas tree might take us back to attending midnight mass with our families on Christmas Eve. The church we saw every Sunday, looking mostly the same each week, would be completely transformed and radiantly glowing in white Christmas lights, gold banners, and poinsettias on every stair, pedestal, and table.
This year, my husband and I decided to purchase an artificial Christmas tree. This was a pretty big compromise for me because I grew up having a real Christmas tree and have had a real tree every year since then (including our first Christmas last year as a married couple). You just can’t recreate the natural smell of a real Christmas tree, no matter how many evergreen scented candles you buy. We decided to switch to an artificial tree this year for multiple reasons though. First of all, we realized how much money we would save doing this over time. I’m slowly becoming a little more money-savvy and practical thanks to my husband 🙂 . I also felt pretty uncomfortable having a real tree in our living room where there would be little needles for little hands to pick up and try to eat…or a bowl of water to try and slurp up or play in. 😛 The biggest factor though was that last year we had to throw our tree out BEFORE Christmas day because we were leaving to see my family over the holidays. It was pretty sad to put our tree out on the curb before Christmas, but we didn’t want to create a fire hazard or give someone else the hassle of coming over to water our tree. This year, we will be in our home for Christmas day, but we will be leaving the day after, therefore creating the issue of having to throw out the tree pretty early again, albeit not as early. As a Catholic (we celebrate Christmas until the feast of the Baptism of Jesus) and someone who grew up keeping Christmas decorations up until at least the new year, it just feels wrong to throw the tree out so early.
Anyways, we actually found a really great tree through Amazon. In addition to my hesitancy with going the artificial route, I also was pretty set on making sure I could see it in person before buying it because I didn’t want something that looked fake from a mile away. I also wanted to make sure it was tall and wide enough and had white lights. Some might call me picky. I prefer to call it being particular and having high standards. 😉 After trying to go out on Black Friday to seek out some good deals and coming up empty handed, I was feeling pretty defeated. I figured that maybe this year we could get a real tree again and then wait until after Christmas when there might be a sale…seriously it’s a crime what some of these trees that look nothing like the real thing go for. My husband, the expert Google research extraordinaire, was convinced that he could find something that would fit my “standards” online, and for the right price too. I left him to it, somewhat skeptical (you know, because I wanted to make sure I could see how realistic it looked), but also somewhat hopeful because he is really good at finding good deals online (I wasn’t being sarcastic when I called him the expert Google research extraordinaire). The tree he found ended up being perfect! It’s 7.5’ tall, which is perfect for our high ceilings, but also not too wide for our small townhouse living room. It has pre-lit LED lights that are white…but they can also be colored lights…or flashing white and color…if that’s your style. My husband thinks this is the best part of the tree because he is an engineer and he grew up having colored lights on his tree…and enjoys changing them to the colored option when I’m not home. 😛
Although it took quite a bit of work and some scratches on the wrists and hands due to twisting and fluffing the branches of the tree, THE best part by far was seeing our baby’s reaction when he first saw it with the lights on. He was more enamored by it than he is watching cars go by our house…another favorite pastime. He is especially mesmerized when we turn on the flashing option. It’s the sweetest thing. The shining lights also seem to be quite an incentive to encourage crawling…ready or not! Even though he is too young to understand many of the aspects of why we have Christmas, it is so neat to see that the wonder and beauty of a Christmas tree is something that transcends understanding and age. I am looking forward to continuing to see him discover the magic of the Christmas tree as he grows.
with white lights,
a Christmas tree is a little reminder that there can still be magic for at least one season every year.