I’m all about the experience. I wanted to take the baby to a Christmas tree farm for her first tree. Her FIRST tree! Now that we’re a family, it’s time to start family traditions, and sometimes that requires cheesy things like Christmas tree farms, holiday light festivals, pictures with Santa. (Not pumpkin pie pumpkins from the grocery store bought 2 hours before trick or treating because they were out of Jack-o-lanterns, John. I guarantee Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch wasn’t out and hadn’t been for weeks.)
John would prefer to order a tree on Amazon.
So we went to Lowes, because it’s the least festive and most economical.
I wanted to start our Christmas tree hunt as soon as we got back from Thanksgiving in Nebraska since, as most moms know, having an idea and executing it can take a couple weeks to never. We’re (mostly) the couple weeks kind of family.
We had to combine a day of errands, lunch at one of our favorites, Sesame Burger (if you’ve visited us in Charleston you’ve been there), and grocery shopping at Whole Foods before we made our way across Mt. Pleasant to Lowe’s. Seriously, Lowe’s.
In my head, we were going to walk around and show the baby the different trees, pose her for pictures for the grandparents, but I didn’t bring her carrier and she was getting heavy and was long overdue for a nap, so we grabbed the first tree we saw. I don’t even know what kind of tree, but it was somewhere around 30$–the cost of a tree minus the Christmas experience.
It took about three more days for John to get the decorations down from the attic, two more days for me to find a few minutes to string the lights and a week from when we bought the tree, we finished decorating.
I love to look through magazines and blogs with DIY projects and decorations (I could do some serious damage at Pottery Barn), but I get overwhelmed even thinking about finding the time to make it all come together. I decided just to focus on the tree and our stockings.
I’ve always loved a Christmas tree that has jumbled, mismatched ornaments and colorful lights. It’s not fancy or photogenic, but it’s warm and it tells an evolving story (ours of bad football teams and Navy life).
Our collection of ornaments is small–smaller now after I broke one–but already we have or favorites. There are the Cornhusker and Giants (with a mysterious dent) bulbs that I got for our first tree, John’s giant submarine ornament that spans about three branches, a hand spun red, white and blue bulb, a gift from a Charleston friend and a tiny Nutcracker that makes me nostalgic for the late nights at rehearsal at San Diego’s Civic Theater when I was little. That must have been fun for my parents.
I’ve been walking past these Burt’s Bees stockings at Whole Foods for about two months now, and they finally went on the sale the same day I convinced John to buy them. (I didn’t know they were on sale until we checked out, which was perfect timing since our grocery bill went through the roof this week).
The tree has been up and decorated for about three days now, and the baby is surprisingly uninterested. I was prepared to barricade it with boxes, but she’s still focusing her efforts on getting through the chain guard on the fireplace…