We always put our holiday decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving. I was really looking forward to it this since I have been slowly replacing old ugly decorations with new ones I like, so I finally feel as though it’s looking nice around here.
Of course I was overly optimistic. We put up the tree in the living room and about 40% of it wouldn’t light. This is the second artificial tree we’ve owned for that room in 12 years. They really should last longer than this. When we moved to this house in 2000, we decided to switch from a real tree to an artificial. I remember buying the pre-lit artificial tree at Kmart for a great price (I think it was $100 or something). That lasted 2 years. We replaced it with another tree that cost a lot more from Michael’s. That one has lasted about 10 years. I had a premonition about this – for weeks before Christmas I had a feeling there was going to be a problem, and I was right. Yes, we could just string lights on it on top of the ones that don’t work, but we already add a long string of pink lights to that tree and I don’t want any more wires. So off we went to the stores. Ugh.
It seems that they’ve changed the shape of trees since we bought last. First of all, we could not
find the height we needed – 6.5 feet. We ended up with a 7.5 foot tree from Lowe’s for much more than I wanted to spend. The tree is taller than what we had, but narrower and instead of being a triangle shape it kind of flares out at the bottom, is straight in the middle, then flares in at the top. Different, but I don’t mind it. Since our ceilings are 7.5 feet high, we couldn’t put the wooden box my husband built years ago under the tree (I like some space between branches and floor for presents).
We also had a crisis with our tree topper. We bought this topper on Valentine’s weekend the first year we were married when we were on a getaway to Corning, NY (for our first Christmas, we used a big bow that was on a wedding gift). The tree topper MUST go on the tree, but it wouldn’t fit! Terry ended up snipping off the top little branches and cleaning off the top of the center pipe to get it to fit on top. It fits, but the only way to get it on and off is to tip the entire tree sideways!
I think the tree looks nice and every year I love hanging the ornaments and remembering where I bought them or who gave them to me. I think I need to take photos of them and label them so my kids will know the meaning behind each on, but that is a giant task. I have ornaments from both grandmothers and I buy ornaments on our trips (I have ornaments from Italy, Scotland, Maine, Hawaii, Bahamas, Arizona, California gold country, Saint Saveur Quebec, Florida, and Ocean City, Maryland among other places).. My mother-in-law bought us the first Christmas and baby’s first year ornaments. My mother has bought me a lot of ornaments and started my collection when I was a teenager. There’s an ornament that reminds me of our first dog (there used to be two of this ornament, but she ate the other one, so I always think of the remaining one as her ornament). There is the bird’s nest with 2 big birds and a baby bird that Terry bought for me the year I was pregnant with our first child. There is even an ornament that one of Terry’s past bosses bought him – the man was a kind of mentor to him, so I always think of him when I hang it.
In the coming days I’ll share some of my new decorations with you and show you some of my Christmas collections that have expanded nicely.
Do you have ornaments that are meaningful to you? How long do your pre-lit artificial trees last?