This past weekend we got a tree. A fake tree. I swore for years I'd never do fake--I like the smell and look of a real tree, along with helping support local business folks. Every year I'd take the Jetta over to the local Jaycees lot and pick out a Fraser Fir (cats, dontcha know).
Then I got a car I actually liked (the MINI), and did not want to put a sappy tree into, so I began relying on the kindness of others for SUV's to bring the tree home. Because of my desire to limit friends' vehicles exposure to that same horrid sap, I started picking purveyors closer to home: Lowe's. So much for helping local business. Even after getting a truck of my own, I found it just so much easier to go back to Lowe's and plop down another $30. And each year, I'd keep the tree up until just after the free tree-recycling collection, necessitating a trip to the dump. So ~$33 / year for 13 years,or roughly $429 BEFORE adding lights, which got replaced in their entirety at least 3 times.
So a real tree was starting to become actual work, and I wasn't accomplishing my goals of helping the community (or the environment), and it wasn't helping that my house has something like -25% humidity during the colder months, making it impossible to keep needles from ejecting like porcupine quills after just 1 week.
For K and li'l A, I wanted better this year. We decided to look at some tree options, but we were disheartened at the lack of pre-lit LED trees. Figuring we'd waited too long into the season, and refusing to support the incandescent market, we decided to go once more to Lowe's and get one last real tree. The money saved would help us through the season, anyway. We'd picked out a tree and gone into the store for one last look at lights when we found it: one lone 7.5' pre-lit warm-white LED tree. And it's beautiful.
Last night we decorated it as a family, selecting our favorite ornaments from our blended family's past and our new present. The tree is beautiful, in spite of the hot mess of empty boxes, and our home is finally becoming that: ours.
Happy holidays to all of you, and may this year find you embracing traditions new and old.