Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Tree Adventure!

Christmas 2010

"You picked the best possible day to do this" the garden center man said in all seriousness as the rain poured down on Dale And I.  We were cold and drenched so we had to laugh but he said "No really of the few days you have left the next couple of days the rain is going to be a lot worse and with stronger winds too".     I consider it a testament to our marriage that we were still laughing and cheerful at that point, plus the guy made an interesting point; no matter what the situation it usually could be worse!  We were soaked and had been for a good 3 hours but we were both happy;  me because we had finally found a couple of nice looking Christmas trees that were still in pretty good shape and Dale because I was happy and the trees were half off.   We started our two Christmas tree tradition right after we were married, one for the living room with white lights and a "theme" and one for the family room with colored lights and collected ornaments.  Christmas morning always involves a little time sitting below each tree and opening gifts.  We have tried to cut back to just one tree but this has led to massive protests by Becky, our vocal traditionalist and a girl who clearly recognized that two trees would  logically produce more gifts than just one.  Becky is in college now with her own place in LA, but still very much about traditions....and lots of presents.

What led us into our messy adventure is that we had waited until a mere 4 days until Christmas eve to put up our trees, an all time low.  The root of the problem as I see it is that the last couple of years we were kind of busy, and though not nearly this late when we went to get the trees, we were plenty late.  When we arrived at Lowes to pick up the trees two years ago, all of the trees had been marked down to $5.00!  This appealed greatly to Dale's sense of a bargain.  Of course most of the trees were beyond redemption but they had a couple of great big trees that were huge and still really green.  These were like 14 footers.  We figured out that we could tie them to the roof of my car, most likely without crushing it,  took a chance and took them home and cut them just about in half and we had two really beautiful Christmas trees...$5.00 each. Last year when we arrived unintentionally late, the trees were once again all $5.00, and they were fresh and lovely but all only about 3 and a half feet tall.  We tried a couple of other places in town, but no luck.  So we got creative with the 3 1/2  foot trees.  I knew Becky would be disappointed by the mini trees so I did a little creative stacking to make 2 trees seem almost like one in the family room and I thought it turned out pretty cute.  We had another small tree for the living room. When Becky heard about the mini trees though she drove all over Fullerton until she found a nice tree and drove out with it on the roof of the car.  I was already done decorating when she happily came home announcing that she had saved Christmas!  We set up the fourth tree on the other side of the family room!

Christmas 2009 double stacked tree
Unfortunately the past couple of years have just strengthened Dale's resolve that if we just wait a little while we can get a great deal on the Christmas trees.  Dale is by no means cheap.  He is a very generous person, but he loves a bargain!  I  like a bargain too but I like the feeling that I have the big Christmas tasks done and I also enjoy seeing the trees up for a while.  Early on I picked out a tree from Lowes and drove it up to Becky in LA so she had a nice tree, but Dale was intentionally dragging his feet on getting ours because he wanted that great buy!  So when we finally headed over to pick out the trees yesterday not only were the pickings horribly slim, the prices were not cheap!  Dale recognizing the impending "I told you sos!"  tried his best to sell me on a nice $30.00 partially brown model with a smooshed in backside.  No such luck, we went a hunting!  And of course I had to take a few minutes to re-educate him so that he did not miss the point that waiting on the Christmas trees was not always going to be a good thing!  Fortunately at this point, and to his credit, Dale became very eager to please me and so we hit up a couple of other tree lots.  It was raining, so it was not that easy to differentiate the totally dried out models.  My first clue that the trees at the Drug store were too dried out was when I ran my hand down the branch to check for loose pine needles and the whole branch came off in my hand.  Not a good sign!

And so began our 4 hour adventure in the pouring rain to find the perfect Christmas Tree. It rarely rains in Southern California, but as luck would have it we waited until we had a full on squall to bring a tree home.   After several failed attempts and a good soaking at every stop, we finally made our way to Green Thumb nursery.  I spotted our tree as soon as we stepped out of the car.  It was nice and green because it had been kept in a stand in water, had a nice shape and was half off!  We found another smaller one for the living room and loaded up on poinsettias while we were there.  I love shopping at Green thumb nursery.  Anyplace that lets me shop with a little red wagon is pretty cool in my book!

The trees are in and finally up and even though it was a long wet day, I spent it with my honey so we had a good time!  Merry Christmas!
Christmas 2010


  1. I loved hearing this story, both in written and verbal form!

  2. Okay... I laughed out-loud on this one! Watch for my next blog as I have a similar story to tell... Just no rain and flooding.