Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cutting Our Own

This year I told Seth that I wanted a real Christmas tree.  But I wanted a real Christmas tree from a tree farm that you cut yourself.  There aren't any Christmas tree farms near where we live.  The years that we've had a live tree, we got it from one of those road side tree stands that bring in trees from who-knows-where.  I do love those beautiful fir trees! But I wanted us to cut our own tree.  I have such vivid memories of going to the Christmas tree farm with my parents and my dad cutting down our tree.  Mama has the cutest pictures of Rob and me trudging through the tree farm and then "helping" Daddy cut down our tree.  I wanted my children to experience that, too.  They had no idea that there are places that grow Christmas trees that you can cut yourself!

We got our tree last weekend.  Seth was in charge of finding a farm.  So he consulted the most knowledgable, dependable Google.  But let's just say that not all Google searches are the same.  It is absolutely necessary to specify CUT YOUR OWN and not just Christmas tree farm.  We learned the hard way.  The first tree "farm" we showed up to was nothing more than someone's back yard where those North Carolina trees that had been trucked in to.  So an hour and a half later, we were finally at a REAL tree farm.

I told Seth that we'd probably get a Leyland Cypress tree because that's what's mostly grown at tree farms in the south.  He'd never even heard of that!  I don't think these are his favorite, and we even at one point entertained the thought of just going back to one of those road side stands and getting a fir tree from North Carolina.  But I really wanted my children to experience this.

We walked amongst the rows of all the trees and finally found OUR tree.  I asked the kids to stand beside it and point to it.  This is what I got.

Hannah Kate insisted on having her picture made with the Grinch while we were waiting on Seth to get the saw.

Ellie was the cutest thing watching her Daddy cut down our tree.

I think Mason and Hannah Kate were just confused by the whole thing and had no idea what in the world we were doing!  Honestly, they weren't impressed.  I was a tad disappointed.

Seth has reminded me several times that our tree isn't perfect.  But I beg to differ.  I've decided this tree is my favorite one we've had in all of our 15 years of Christmases together.  I even caught him about to cut one of the branches off!  I mean, seriously.  Back away from the tree!

I've never been more excited to string lights!  Mason asked Seth why I was stringing the lights and not him.  Seth told the story about the first live tree we got . . . he strung the lights, and when I saw it, I took all of the lights off and did it all over again.  He prefers to just wrap the lights around the tree.  And that's totally fine.  But I'm just not a "wrap the lights around" kinda gal.  I like for my lights to line the branches and go down into the tree.  I want my tree COVERED in lights!  This year our tree has 2,400 lights.  I could string lights on a tree and not do another single thing to it!  (It still needs a skirt and some gifts, but the new skirt I ordered hasn't arrived yet.)    

I was enjoying my tree and my hard work late Saturday night when, all of a sudden, the tree went completely dark.  ALL of the lights went out!  I nearly died.  I went to bed and woke up the next morning hoping that something was wrong with the electrical outlet or perhaps the breaker tripped.  But not so.  I thought about it for awhile.  The lights were brand new.  But it seemed to me that the problem had to be the strand that was plugged directly into the outlet.  I was right.  So after church on Sunday, I took that strand off and replaced it with another new strand.  I came home after church on Sunday night and was enjoying my tree.  Until the lights went out AGAIN.  I am so not kidding.

Same problem.  The strand plugged directly into the outlet was out.  So I took it off AGAIN and replaced it with yet another new strand.  But this time I didn't plug everything else back into it.  I ran an extension cord instead.  Three days later I'm still staring at my fully lit tree.

The kids decorated the tree yesterday.  I have to admit . . . there's something about decorating a Christmas tree (in December!) while wearing SHORTS and T-SHIRTS that just doesn't seem very Christmas-y!

Every year, Mimi sends the children a Christmas ornament.  This year the ornaments arrived the day before we got our tree so they opened them that morning before we left to get our tree.

Again, they were not impressed with my perfect tree.  A lot of our ornaments are rather heavy, and the branches on a Leyland Cypress are not sturdy enough for them.  So it's tricky hanging ornaments.  Mason told me he did not like the tree and that he thinks we should have a fake tree next year.  That kind of crushed my cut-your-own-tree spirit.  But I will not be deterred.  This is the first time in seven years that we've had a real tree.  It's also the first time of many years to come that we will have a real tree!

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