It was around this time last year that we closed on our house. We spent the next two weeks frantically getting the house ready for move in, which was no easy task. There was so much work to be done. When the movers came on Christmas day, we were barely ready. We packed in a hurry, throwing things in garbage bags and whatever boxes we could find. We were excited to begin a new chapter and terrified at the same time.Those sleepless days and weeks leading up to the move are a blur and if I’m being honest, my partner bore the brunt of it. I remember looking around our new house with boxes surrounding us on Christmas day thinking wow, we did it! We are home owners and that feeling was the best gift we could ever give ourselves.
As Thanksgiving approached this year, I began feeling antsy. “Let’s put up a Christmas tree,” I told my partner. “Let’s deck the halls for the holidays this year.” But, I was met with a “meh. No need to rush, we have plenty of time” attitude. As my southern friends already know, the optimal time to decorate for the holidays is the day AFTER Thanksgiving. I wasn’t going to let a long weekend pass me by, so off I went tree shopping on my own. Walmart had by far the best deals on trees… but, before I go any further, let’s take a look at an age old conundrum about Real vs. Fake trees.
There is no right or wrong choice. I think, ultimately, it comes down to individual preference, but I’d like to think that I’m reducing my carbon footprint a little by choosing a fake tree. Plus, it always made me feel sad the day after Christmas seeing all those discarded trees on the curb… if there is ever a verdict on the human condition, I hope it doesn’t come on the day after Christmas.
Back at Walmart, I spent an hour picking out what I needed. I’ve always wanted a white tree, so when I saw them on sale for $40, I simply couldn’t resist. I wanted to go for a woodland/nature inspired tree, so I carefully picked out ornaments that fit my theme… As a general rule of thumb, I place about 20 ornaments and 50 lights per foot of tree. I picked up a 6.5ft tree and 7 sets of 50 clear lights mixed with 1 set of twinkling lights. More twinkling lights are not always better… I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to weave the lights and I’d say it took about 30 mins to string all of them. A quick word about buying lights, if you’re buying a white tree, please make sure to buy lights with white chords and not do what I did. It was a major pain to have to go back and return all of them and repurchase… Also, I prefer 50 lights to the jumbo ones, because you can always replace the set that’s not working instead of having to take out all of them.
All in all we spent around $75 for the entire tree. Not too shabby. An old toy sack doubled as a tree bag and my in laws brought over some decorations which blended in nicely with our theme. I had some left over burlap from another project that I strung like a ribbon to finish my look. Also, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on ornaments, I walked around my yard and picked up twigs and greenery to fill in the holes. You can even use scrap paper and pine cones if you like. Use what you have and improvise. Don’t limit yourself to only things that can be bought…