Live or artificial tree?

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Live or artificial tree?
7
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 1:16pm

Which way are you going this season?  I'm having no tree this year, I adopted a new dog last spring who has issues about coveting anything I spend time on.  So for his safety and my sanity, I won't have a tree until next year (he's getting better but not trustworthy yet, mommy's boy for sure).  

I'm still using an artificial tree that I bought on sale after Christmas 1983, for $12, a 6 1/2 foot pine that was marked down from $72.  I bought it for the bar at my restaurant.  After one Christmas there, I brought it home (long story about replacing a walk-in freezer, tree was stored on top).  And I've used it for all these years.  

One year I was especially uninspired and harrowed with 2 jobs and two kids and single; I had not done anything about getting the tree down from the attic and my kids were getting antsy.  I got home from Job #2 to find a large cedar tree propped on my carport. My son  had gone to the woods with a friend to cut a tree, and when he told his friend's father that we did not have a tree, they cut one for us too!  So in my high heels at 10 p.m., I was sawing the bottom of the tree, crawling in the attic to find a tree stand, and getting out the lights and ornaments.  

The tree came with a few surprises (YIKES!) that crawled out, and the cat climbed it a few times with disastrous results.  

So what's yours this year?  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 12:41pm

We ALWAYS had a "real" tree --- mainly becasue I loved the smell, but when 2008 and the market debacle came round, I was in a save $$$ mode and the cost of real trees was through the roof. We already had three artifical trees that were outdoor display units --- DH used to wire them to the dock and light them up with a remote! One of them was a white fiber-optic, one was a dark green wire with colored lights and one, for some reason, has disappeared. The wire one is now on the front lawn, covered in many strings of LED lights (because it's own lights finally gave up the ghost), also lit each night with a remote (the dock has it's own light display of a white rope light and a set of LEDs that line the railings).

The white fiber optic tree became the indoor tree. It is set upon a tea table (Ming dynasty) which is covered with a tree skirt and decorated with ornaments (usually a theme --- one year it was snowflakes, another it was all blue and silver, etc.). That tree is in our foyer and will go up again this year, despite the signs or rust and decay it is showing.

I've had a brass tree that I bought from Herrschner's years ago to display ornaments I received in various online-swaps. It is about 3 feet tall and lives on my craft table (or did until I displaced it for more storage!). But that tree gave me an idea and when I found a seven-foot version of the same tree last year online, I bought it. It became our living room tree and last year had all of my hand-stitched ornaments on it. 

And then there is the cheap little "potted" artifical tree, already decorated with little foil packaged, pine cones, plastic holy berries adn a few lights. It sits atop the cat condo in the kitchen! 

For the last few years, we have bought live trees, in their burlap balls, and placed them in wheelbarrows on the dock and lit them up. After Christmas, said trees were donated to the garden park's Peace Garden (whcih is all evergreens). This year, DH decided to not do that... not sure why.

So for us, sadly, it's no wonderful smells --- very few lights --- and very modern treescapes. 



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Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 12:52pm

Carol, your brass tree with handmade ornaments must be beautiful!

I have an artificial tree that was a discard from my cousin about 20 years ago when she upgraded to a bigger better one. This one is about 5 feet tall, and some of the branches are now more shoved in than attached, but we like it. Last year we thought about getting a new one, but they weren't as nice as our old beat up one unless  we had a budget in the hundreds, so we decided putting up this tree is tradition now. Every year my cousin and I laugh about how I'm still using her castoff!

I also have a little 3-foot tree with white lights. It's decorated with glass and porcelain ballerinas (my daughter has been in ballet for 11 years). Again, my cousin sent me a flower arrangement one Christmas which had beautiful gold ribbons and glittered snowflakes and shiny berries, all on spikes, so I saved them and stick them in my ballerina tree. My daughter says it looks elegant, and I quite agree.

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 1:01pm

k_roni wrote:
The tree came with a few surprises (YIKES!) that crawled out, and the cat climbed it a few times with disastrous results.  

Ewww on the surprises! My cats try to climb my artificial tree too and think the ornaments are there for them to bat around. We tie it to the wall near the top with fishing line so at least they can't knock it over.

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 7:02pm

Somehow my Charlie Brown tree decorates up so beautifully.  It's pitiful when I first get it out and put it together, but after it relaxes for a while it's lovely.  I used to have hand crocheted ornaments all over it (including my crocheted angel on top) but over the years my handmade stuff has gotten in pretty bad shape.  I still use some of it, though, and I'm famous for my Campbell's Soup ornaments.  I mostly now stuff the tree out with artificial flowers and big bows and ribbons.  With all white lights, it is stunning.  

There is something magical about a Charlie Brown tree.  

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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 1:07am

We always get a "fresh" cut tree, usually a Douglas Fir. I'm not sure how fresh they really are, being that I'm in SoCal and the trees were grown in Oregon or Washington and trucked down so who knows when they were cut. Keeping it from getting dried out and becoming a fire danger is the challenge. We put it up on Dec 16 (first night of the Posadas in Mexico) and I often have to take it down before New Year's. My mom always left the tree up until Jan 6 but my tree never lasts that long.

Our tree is a mishmash of different kinds of ornaments, some of them over 30yrs old. We also have several ballerina ornaments because my dd studied ballet for 9 yrs. I have a "thing" about the lights, that the wires should not be seen, so it takes a long time to get the lights on just right and I'm the only one with the patience for that (maybe a little OCD? lol) To help myself get through it I have a traditional glass of dairy eggnog with Kahlua mixed in!

Last year the cat wasn't interested in the tree but in previous years he liked it---the turpines in the sap act like catnip to them. He doesn't try to climb the tree (too dense with the bushy branches maybe) but sometimes bats at the lower ornaments. I don't have a fitted tree skirt, instead I use a plain white flat sheet and arrange it under the tree to look like "snow". When there are not many gifts on the sheet to anchor it,  the cat likes to "go sledding"---he runs at it, jumps onto the sheet and slides across the hardwood floor. Some mornings I'll come down to find the sheet halfway across the room!

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Fri, 12-14-2012 - 6:50pm

How funny about the cat skiing on the sheet!  My tree is 6 1/2 feet but my ceiling is closer to 12 feet.  So I put my tree on an heirloom toy box that my grandfather built for my mother about 77 years ago.  The tree base JUST fits on the box, and that raises my tree up so that the lower branches are almost at the level of the window sill.  When the drapes are open, it looks like I have a GI-NORMOUS tree!  

When we get fresh trees down here in the Mid-South, we go cut them ourselves.  Everyone has a piece of land somewhere, and cedars grow in the wild.  But it is SO EASY to cut JUST the right tree, and get home to discover that it won't fit through the door and that it is WAY too tall for the house!  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Sat, 12-22-2012 - 12:11pm

CMEvelyn wrote:
<p>Carol, your brass tree with handmade ornaments must be beautiful!</p><p>

I suppose it could be --- if it were complete! DH and I took it out yesterday to assemble and there's a piece missing. One year old and it's already forced to be two feet shorter (and six branches poorer) because we can't find that piece!).

Anyway, here it is with "cat" ornaments on it, two stuffed cats (one blue stripes, one red) under it , and one real one ( black, back left ) who has claimed the hot air register behind it!  Not as many cat ornaments as I thought I had and two had lost their hooks for hanging Cry so it looks pretty skimpy:  

And here is the foyer tree, all in red, green and gold (although we are little short of gold ornaments, which surprises me becasue we did this same tree in green and gold last year... I must have put them away in a different box than the one labeled... but I'm not hunting for them now!):

Now to put away the bins and boxes and such in which ornaments were stored until it's time to take the trees down.

Oh, why so late in decorating, you ask? DH's birthday was Monday and I don't like pre-empting his birthday with Christmas stuff...



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