Thursday, November 29, 2018

Let's Try A "Real" Christmas Tree

Life continually evolves.  Nothing ever remains the same.  A person in their 20's thinks 40 is old, a 40 year old thinks 60 is old, a 60 year old thinks 80 is pretty old and an 80 year old knows they are old.  As I am in the decade before 80, I need to evolve too.   I have two daughters.  One has taken over hosting our Thanksgiving meal and the other is having Christmas.   I think that is awesome.  It was wonderful to see what a good job my daughter and her family did on Thanksgiving.  I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas as well.

 Since no one will be at our house for Christmas, I thought I would cut back on decorating.  When we discovered our youngest daughter was allergic to the "real" tree, we purchased an artificial tree and had one for over 40 years   We have upgraded over the years but always put up a big tree. Two years ago I wrote about the struggles we had with an 8 foot tree.

This year I got the bright idea of buying a small potted Christmas tree.  We could enjoy it in the house, and we could plant it in the yard in the spring.  Sounds good right??  My husband and I made the trek out of town to a local nursery.  I had heard they had some potted trees.   We found a Norway Spruce we liked.  It was 4 feet high, and it was nicely shaped.  It cost a bit more than I wanted, but I justified it by thinking we could plant a nice sized tree in the spring, and it wouldn't be another dead Christmas tree in the landfill.  With a little help, we got it in the truck.  My husband was able to back the truck near the porch and took out the tree.  It was frozen solid.  So far so good.  The next problem was finding a container to put it in.  The instructions we got was to warm it up, put it in a bright spot and water it regularly.  It can never ever dry out or it will die.  I measured the pot and the container had to be 16 inches across and 15 inches high.  I couldn't find anything without drainage holes that large.  We got in the truck again and we were off to find a proper container.  I thought we could surely find something at some of the thrift stores.  Nope, nothing to be had.  Next we went to the farm store.  We looked at all kinds of containers until we found one large enough.  It was a steel utility tub and would be able to hold water.  I'm not sure what it is supposed to be used for.  It's probably for hauling oats for horses or pig slop.  We got home after dark although it isn't that late these days.  It's pitch dark at 5:00pm.  We brought the tree inside, put it in the container and left it to thaw out overnight.

The next morning I got out the strings of lights I had purchased two years before.  They were LED and not that old so I wasn't worried about them working.  Thank goodness I hadn't brought up the big tree because six lights at the end of the first string didn't light.  I wouldn't have been very happy to have to go through finding the source of the burned out bulb.  In this case, I just pulled out another string of lights, and they worked just fine.  The tree only took two strings of lights and even that was a struggle for me.  The little fresh tree was prickly and sappy.  It smells good, but I got sap on my hands and clothes.  With the lights accomplished, it was time to decorate.  I brought up my bins of ornaments.  Most of the ornaments were too heavy.  They just slid off the branches.  I ended up using a bunch of small ornaments and dehydrated orange slices.  It is done, and it looks pretty good.  I only hope that we don't kill it and it lives a good long life in my yard.   If not, it was a pretty expensive little 4 foot tree.

Keeping with the Christmas spirit we brought Santa up from his storage cabinet, I ended up putting up my villages and hung the stockings on the fireplace.  Old habits are hard to break.