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Author Topic: Your Christmas tree, your choice
Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I "inherited" a really nice aritificial tree with the lights already on. In a concession to my advancing age, I decided to stop putting up a cut tree and use the artificial one. The lights didn't work. So I trashed it and bought a cut tree. I do love cut trees, they smell so good. I have a sneaking suspicion that this tree was cut a lot longer ago than I was told. In fact, I'm thinking next year that instead of buying myself an artificial tree, I may start going to a Christmas tree farm and cutting my own again.

So, what's your tree?

Artificial, cut, potted, other?

If you have a cut tree, do you buy it from a lot, a superstore like Lowes/Home Depot, or do you go to farm and cut it yourself?

If you have an artificial one, is it by choice or apartment/condo regulations? Would you have a real one if you could?

Anyone hang theirs upside down?

Lots of lights or not too many? My 7' tree will have at about 1000 mini lights. Anyone use candles?

Discuss... I'll be back later after I finish putting the lights on.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Auntie Witch
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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We just got back from cutting down my parent's tree at a farm. I love the way real trees look and smell, but with two little ones, I just don't feel comfortable having one, so we've got a seven foot fiber-optic tree. The best thing about it? After Christmas, I take off the ornaments that I would be heartbroken if I lost, store those, and then carry the tree down to the basement with everything else still on it. This year I adjusted the lights and beads a bit, rehung a handful of ornaments, and the tree was ready to go! I've got about 400 or 500 minilights on it in different colors.

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violetbon
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I use an artificial tree with lights attached simply because it's easier. Not nicer by a long shot. But easier. Hard to get the real tree to fit in the stand, and line it up straight.

I had a real tree once, and my crazy cat piled up the needles under the fitted sheet of my bed. I was waking up with bloody legs until I figured it out.

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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No tree right now, thinking about buying a small fake one (maybe a fiber optic one). Real trees are nice but for me right now they simply aren't practical, if I were to do that though I'd probobly go to a farm and cut my own..

However, if I ever end up with, you know, a house, I can see myself getting a potted tree and then planting it in the yard, provided there was space or planting it in a park somewhere (if they allow that sort of thing).

I have only recently hurt of hanging one upside down, never tried it and probobly wouldn't out of tradition if nothing else [Smile]


Oh, and the firefighter in me begs you not to use real candles in christmas trees [Smile]

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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vfwchick
Deck the Malls with Boughs of Money


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I have a table top tree, 4 ft but very full.
I use it because with 4 fish tanks (5,10,30, and 90 gallon) in my living room there is no room left for a full size tree.
It has 200 blue lights on it and all unbreakable ornaments since we have two kittens that think it's thier play tree. When it first went up I had to redecorate it daily. Then they knocked it over and have been leaving it alone since, but I don't expect that will last long. They have short memories.

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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Six foot tall fake. We have to add our lights to it. Our ornaments are like a history of our family. From store bought kinds of each child's first holiday to the homemade kind each kid made. We also buy a new ornament each year. And of course, we have seven different Tony Stweart/NASCAR ornaments. [Roll Eyes]

Frog-Where's my Vincent D'Onofrio ornament?-Feathers

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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We bought a prelit tree this year because it's difficult and tedious for two people appx. 5' tall to properly light a 7' tree. Plus, real trees, although they smell lovely, make us sneeze.

The lights may end up being the only decoration on our tree, thanks to the kittens. We removed all the glass and porcelain ornaments earlier this week, we may need to remove the rest of them, and even the bead garland, this weekend.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I have the lights done -- 850 of them. We probably won't do ornaments until tomorrow but then, who knows what the evening may bring.

I forgot to mention I got a Canaan fir for the first time. As soft as a Frasier but fuller. I really like it.

I've been collecting ornaments for 40 years and found that I have many that I simply don't like. Some I bought, some were gifts and while some have stores behind them, some are totally meaningless. I pruned them last year, may do more pruning this year. Unfortunately I lost a number of my favorite ornaments which I loved and which had meaning for me when our dog tipped the tree over one year. That was a good ten years ago and I still have a piece from one of them.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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going slightly mad
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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In my family it is tradition to not put up and adorn the tree until a few hours before the Christmas celebration (Dec 24th). What kind of tree we will have depends on where the family meets to celebrate. Last year it was at my mothers house, we had a real, cut tree with candles. I love that one best, there are no other lights than the candles and we only burn them for as long as we sing Christmas songs and open presents, but it is the tree of my childhood and nothing says Christmas more to me than the smell of the tree and candlesmoke.

This year we are going to celebrate at my grandparents. They only have a very small apartment so the tree (real, cut) is not inside but on the balcony. It's quite a neat effect, on the balcony they have the space to put up a really large tree but with the room-high window and glass door you can still see the tree very well from the living room. My Grandmother puts up a lot of lights and they are set to start burning as soon as it gets dark. I don't know how my Grandmother manages but despite the wind and weather she still puts up her old glassornaments without them ever getting broken, it's beautiful every year. Also, because they live in the mountains they are sure to have snow, which only adds to the effect.

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Don't warn the tadpoles!

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ange84
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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We have an artificial, cut trees don't seem to be that big over here. When i was younger we bought a potted one and planted it in the front yard, but after a cyclone it looked worse for wear and we chopped it down. Our cat took no interest in the tree, except for swatting one branch until the MIL to be put up sparkly gold balls, ever since we have to pick up a minimum of 5 aforementioned balls every morning. I didn't put out our glass ornaments, but now we know how the cat reacts they definatly won't be going out.

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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After years of a real cut tree, bought from the Boy Scouts, we went to an artificial tree a few years ago. The cut tree dried out to quickly in the front room by the woodstove, and when we moved it to the family room, we didn't get the pan in straight. So as I was watering it from the front, the water was running over in the back, soaking some packages and the carpet. Plus the cats insisted on claiming the pan as their new water dish. So one year after christmas, we got the highest quality tree made at the time for 65% off, bought a few large Pine Yankee Candles, and when they are lit you really can't tell it's fake.

As far as decorating, I use minimal lighting as far in as possible. I'd like fewer ornaments, but the kids make so many each year that my tree looks a little cluttered. All of my ornaments are special ones that friends or family have made or given to me. And when I hear about the "new" trend of hanging trees upside down, I laugh - my sister's boyfriend was doing that in 1982.

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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As a rep for the Jewish side of the holiday season, I was never properly introduced to a Christmas tree unti wifey and I moved in together. She showed me the delights of a real tree.

When we lived in the city without a car we'd grab one from a lot. When we moved to the burbs we started getting a tree from the farmer's lot by our house (trucked in from Michigan, but so very nostalgic because it's on a farm).

Now, twice we've gone out to a tree farm and cut our own. It was a very cool thing, but we skipped this year because it's been cold and we weren't up to carting the newborn around in the snow with us.

I did feel especially clever this year by placing a 6 x6 piece of scrap carpet under the tree stand to catch the needles rather than stabbing myself on the imbedded ones until, oh...June (maybe I should buy one of those Dyson vacuums [Smile] ).

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tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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We always cut ours at a tree farm since my son was little. Since my divorce in '98 I've only put the little ceramic tree I glazed out. My son and his wife had been going to cut down a tree but she never cared for it so now they have an artificial. I'll hang onto my decorations just in case I ever have someone else to share xmas with, but just for myself the little ceramic tree with the plastic colored lights does just fine.

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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We go to a tree farm and cut one ourselves. Usually a variety of a spruce. It's usually about 7-8 feet tall.

For our second tree, we have an artificial tree. That's called our "Santa Claus tree" because all that goes on it is Santa Claus ornaments.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Silkenreindeer
Wassaleing


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Has to be a real tree. HAS to be, for me.

Artificial may be a better choice for some people, but I'm a purist when it comes to Christmas trees.

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I had real trees for many years after we were married then my mom gave me an artificial which I used for about five years. It finally dawned on me that a)the fake one I had wasn't any easier indeed was harder to put up than a real tree and b) putting the limbs and shaping my fake tree made me break out in a rash where a real tree didn't. I went back to real cut trees two years ago and never went back.

I've also changed from Scotch Pine to White Pine this year and I had to drive about 20 miles to find one (funny being it's the state tree and all.)
White Pine Christmas Tree
They have very long soft needles and smell wonderful. I hate spruce; to me they are all bare and gangly looking, like a Charlie Brown tree. I like them to be about six foot because it fits perfectly into my bay window. I have 900 mini green, red, and clear lights on it. I know the exact number because I had to buy all new this year. I had my teen age sons store my lights in the basement last year and now I can't find them. [Roll Eyes] Think I'll supervise a little more closely this year. I can't imagine where they put that stuff.

P&LL, Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

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Zamboni_Rodeo
Deck the Malls


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I absolutely love the smell of a Fraser fir tree, but I kind of soured on the whole live tree experience one year while helping my mom disentangle some lights she was trying to put in one. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I got zapped and ended up across the room flat on my @55.

Ever since then, it's been artifical trees for me. And now that they make prelit ones, that's just the icing on the proverbial cake.

--Zamboni "Now, if they just made real-smelling Fraser fir scent in a spray can, I'd be set" Rodeo

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Where's the challenge in wassailing at Christmas? The place is lousy with wassail!

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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We have two artificial ones that we bought during two different sojourns in the UK. They're pretty nice so it's hard to justify the extra expense of a real tree. Plus, I admit, I'm not keen on the mess. The tree is the one part of Christmas that I'm not mad keen on. I hate dragging up all the boxes of ornaments and then turning around and putting it all away after Christmas. My husband would divorce me though if I ever tried to get away with not having a tree at all.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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frogpond
Jingle Sales


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I have a couple of artifical trees. I can't have a real one because my cat likes to eat pine needles.

The crystal and silver tree has a lot of lights. Several strands do a variety of blinking routines and several strands are steady one.

The blue, green and purple tree only has a couple of strands of blue lights.


Brief hijack here - I'm watching The Grinch (Jim Carrey version) and it looked like the Whos were having a key party! [Eek!]

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So many books, so little time.

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kitoboo
Deck the Malls


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My sister has used an artificial tree for years. At Thanksgiving we were discussing upside down trees and decided that maybe this year she should get a living tree and hang it upside down from the ceiling where the roof is leaking.

-kitoboo

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Minstrel gone caroling
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Six foot tall fake tree bought from Meijer at an after-Christmas clearance sale several years ago. It's starting to get really wobbly and skimpy, so it may be time to pick up another one after the holidays this year. I like the way real trees smell, but I don't like having to water them or stepping on fallen needles for months afterward. Besides, the apartment management says no real trees.

ETA: It's the kind where you have to put the lights on. One string of lights is not enough and two is too many. So it winds up with a LOT of lights up around the top.

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Last year's goat was burned down by vandals dressed up as Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man. They were never caught.
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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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Real, usually a Virginia or white pine fresh-cut from the North Carolina mountains. My grandparents always had a cedar; they have wimpy branches, but they were also free. When you have twelve-foot ceilings and the tree has to reach the top, you do not sneeze at a free tree.

And yes, we don't do Frasier firs. Blasphemy, I know. [Smile]

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Around here, most people sneak out into the forest and just steal a tree.

Technically, it's illegal, but the land owners don't really care, as the trees that would make good Christmas trees will never make good timber (the small, dense trees are often as old as the surrounding trees, they just get less light in the shade of their larger siblings which stunt their growth. At some point, the land owner would have to remove them anyway to provide better conditions for the good timber trees.

Many also cut trees under power lines, where they are also just a nuisance that has to be removed anyway.

Around here, we only use spruce (although I've once seen a juniper used). I saw Mythbusters yesterday, and apparently pine and other trees are used as well in USA. Personally, I can't see how such trees could reasonably work well in generating Christmas spirit...

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/Troberg

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black roses 19
Xboxing Day


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I have a 10 foot tall real tree. There's actually a pretty funny (or at least, funny to me) story behind that.

My step-mom's parents own a Christmas tree farm. It's actually really neat - they have a horse drawn sleigh (driven by Santa, of course) and a couple hundred acres of Christmas trees with a different kind in each field. You tell Santa what kind of tree you want and he drives you out to that field. You walk around, find a tree you like and cut it down yourself (or Santa will do it for you).

I was planning on going up there with my dad one afternoon to pick out a tree, but it ended up being really rainy and gross that day (the only day I could go). He told me that he could just pick one up for me (it's a couple-hour drive from here) and asked me what kind and how tall of one I'd like.

I told him that my current (artificial) tree is marked at 6 feet. However, I'm as tall as it is so I think the box overexaggerated (i'm about 5'6"). We have cathedral ceilings in our apartment, with the highest part of the arch right in the middle of the hallway. I was planning on putting the tree at the low end of the arch in the corner of the living room, which I figured was about 8 and a half feet tall.

I told my dad to get me one between 7 and 8 feet (enough room for the star). Apparently, he heard "between 8 and 9 feet".

He thought he'd go with a 10-footer just to be safe.

It's a little in the way and we had to rearrange EVERYTHING in our apartment, but it's actually really REALLY nice.

I love love LOVE having a live tree. It just isn't Christmas without one. [Big Grin]

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"I find them to be in contradiction of the basic principles of YOUR MOM!!!" -We've Got Mail

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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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When he was young, my husband's family bought a very realistic-looking artificial tree on which all the needles were molded plastic, not the "pipe cleaner" style more often seen. My family always had real cut trees (except for two years when my parents bought live trees which we later planted), and up until last year so did my husband and I.

Our ceiling is very low, and we need a narrow tree, so it's sometimes a chore finding a nice cut tree that will fit; we usually end up spending way more than we ought to. Last year we spotted a brand of artificial tree that had the molded plastic needles on the outer stems, the inner were "pipe cleaner" style. They looked very realistic, even up close. We decided to get one and try it for a few years. We found one that was just the right height, and compact enough for the space we have. It cost us roughly the equivalent of 2 1/2 cut trees, so if we use it for only three years we still save money.

This one is pre-lit, which is a convenience. Unfortunately this one only came with white lights; I like the multicolored ones. And I have a lot of ornaments, and nearly all of them are glass.

We also have an artificial table-top tree which we call the Cat Christmas Tree. The lights are white birds, and all the "animal" ornaments go on this tree, along with a number of white fur catnip mice. It came about when someone said "I'd like a tree covered in white lights" and a friend thought she said "I'd like a tree covered in white mice." By the way, this tree goes up on the entertainment center, far from the reach of our cats.

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--Tootsie

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SirKnight-Protector of Lady Visa
The First USA Noel


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My family uses an artificial tree because my mother is allergic to Pine trees, so it would kill her, literally.

I would love to have a real tree, but because when I eventually get out on my own, if mom comes over, well you get the picture.

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You have the Right to Remain Silent. Anything you say CAN and WILL be twisted around, taken out of Context and used against you.

All we need is love and beer. Old school metal and some holiday cheer to be happy.

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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I've had an artificial tree for years, because DH hates shopping for trees and I don't like to do it alone.

I bought a new one this year, a 7.5 foot pre-lit tree. It came with 1000 white lights, but being the queen of gaudy that I am, I wanted colored lights. I couldn't find one that I liked with colored lights, so I methodically started changing out bulbs on my new tree. One week later, I had replaced about 2/3 of the lights. I think I need help.

However, it looks quite nice.

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by SirKnight-Protector of Lady Visa:
My family uses an artificial tree because my mother is allergic to Pine trees, so it would kill her, literally.

Substitute 'DH & son' for 'mother' & you have our situation.
And every year, someone rants within earshot of me about how its not a tree unless its a real tree & how horrible those artifical trees are & any *real* Christmas lover would have a real tree. And every time I bite my tongue to not snark 'Well for us, its artifical or emergency room. Really not a difficult decision.'

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Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Real (cut) tree here, that we got from a foresters sale on Saturday. It's "Forest Stewardship Concil" approved, so it doesn't carry any chemicals into our living room. It's about three meters heigh.

We decorated it yesterday with live candles (that will be lit for the first time on Christmas Eve).

Don Enrico

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My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

Posts: 2209 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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Apartment rules dictate what bloody Christmas tree you can put up?! [Eek!]

I have an artifical 6 foot black Christmas tree, with black and silver decorations. I got it from a garden centre in Derby. It isn't going up this year, though, because of moving house right before Christmas and a very stupid and very bouncy kitten.

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 8528 | From: Nottingham, England | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
It isn't going up this year, though, because of moving house right before Christmas and a very stupid and very bouncy kitten.

Come now, Mosh. Even if you have trouble putting Christmas trees up, I hardly think you could honestly describe yourself as stupid.
Posts: 2370 | From: Arabia | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
I have an artifical 6 foot black Christmas tree, with black and silver decorations. I got it from a garden centre in Derby. It isn't going up this year, though, because of moving house right before Christmas and a very stupid and very bouncy kitten.

I helped a friend decorate his Christmas tree the weekend before last (way too early but it's his flat). It had been up less than an hour before the youngest cat had had three of the baubles down and from past experience with the older cat we suspected the whole tree would come down during the night. Haven't heard the update but it's bound to have had at least one cat in it by now.

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My blog - a continuing obsession with my weight plus much randomness
My opinions on books, music, and other stuff

Posts: 845 | From: Gloucestershire, UK | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tzarina
Xboxing Day


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If I had no child, there would be no Christmas tree. But since there is a kid, and my family is big on tradition, we go out to a specific Christmas Tree farm and cut our own.

Mom and dad get a 10 footer, mine is about 4 feet tall this year. Both are white pine. I have a bay window in the dining room, and the tree goes in the window seat. I refuse to move anything in the house to accomodate a tree.

I was looking into an artificial tree this year, but I don't want a green one. The black one sounds cool Mosh, I'll have to try and find one of those.

Posts: 1359 | From: Akron, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The day after I posted to this thread I began reminiscing about past xmases and xmas trees and I remembered the year of the UPS tree.

That particular xmas was more harried than usual and I knew I wouldn't have time to get everything done. Desperate, I began thinking of shortcuts and areas where I could shave some time. I recalled my L.L. Bean catalogue and grabbed it to do some shopping via the phone. This was well before online shopping. At any rate, I found some wonderful gifts and marked the pages, closed the catalogue exposing the back page while I got a fresh cup of coffee before my phone call and there it was: an offer of a balsam tree, about 6', if I recall correctly, freshly cut and delivered to your door! Could it be? Could I pick up the phone and order a xmas tree? Would I dare? Such heresy! But, damnit, I was pressed for time and I ordered that tree from Maine, and it was delivered just a couple days later, via UPS, a tall thin box sitting on the front porch when I arrived from work that evening. I was afraid to open it. I brought the box into the house and scooted it into the corner. What was it, about a foot square? Had I lost my mind? What kind of xmas tree nightmare had I wreaked upon us?

When my husband got home from work, we took the box out in the back and pulled that balsam from it. We were both a little upset at the look of this thin little tree but we chose to just take it in stride, make the best of the situation, and put up this sad little tree, because, honestly, we were up to our armpits that year and sad little tree or no, we had our xmas tree. One more thing crossed off the list. We made a fresh cross-cut on the trunk and put the tree in a bucket of water for a few hours until we could decorate it.

When we went out to get it, the branches had started coming down and it seemed to have filled out. Maybe it wasn't going to be so bad after all. We brought it inside, put lights on it, looked for the bad side to turn towards the corner, like usual and found none. It was a perfectly shaped balsam tree. It was beautiful! We agreed later that it was the prettiest tree we ever had. Of course, it wasn't traditional. It didn't include stomping across hard snowy ground in search of the perfect tree, nor cutting it close to the ground with the bow saw brought from home, nor tying it to the vehicle and hauling it home. There wasn't the traditional hot chocolate as we thawed ourselves and toasted this year's perfect tree and the carful of needles. But, it was a beautiful tree, about twice the price we normally paid, but for that year, well worth the expense.

And, that UPS tree stands out in my mind where all the traditional trees have blended into one happy memory. That was the year, when people asked where we got our tree we told them, with perfectly straight faces, "UPS!"

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

Posts: 8532 | From: Michigan | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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Real tree, all the way. I have told the family that when I can't have a real tree, I won't have a tree. If allergies or something were involved, then it would be different. But they're not, so I have a real tree sitting in the corner of my living room right now, waiting for the branches to finish falling so we can decorate it tonight.

We have very low ceilings, so my tree can be no taller than 6 feet (once I add the angel, it gets up a bit higher). I don't know how many lights it gets; pretty much until I'm tired of putting them on. About 300 maybe?

All of our ornaments are handmade, except for the angel. I got that tradition from my mother, who made every ornament on her tree one year. We always add a new one or two each year. The really fragile ones are on the top, the less fragile & crocheted ones are on the bottom, so if the cats decide to play, they won't break anything.

Another tree question to ponder - Angel or Star on the top? DH was a star guy, I'm all for the angel. Since I decorate, I win.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

Posts: 486 | From: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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