Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Plight of the Live Christmas Tree

Ahh, the plight of the live Christmas tree. Almost every year we have a story to tell when it comes to our tree... and it's not always a pleasant one. I've never gone into great detail here on the blog about the unfortunate happenings we've experienced almost every year with our tree because honestly they aren't our fondest moments... or memories for that matter. But this year I've decided I want to remember. One day we'll laugh about it after all. 

I must begin by saying we really do LOVE our tradition of cutting down a real, live Christmas tree every year. We for sure the love the idea of it. Haha. Terrell and I both grew up doing this with our families and we want the tradition to continue. It's fun, it's festive, it makes your house smell like Christmas, it's a tradition. But man oh man is it work. And unpredictable. And frustrating. And challenging. 

This year would be no different. Ha.

We always go to get a tree the day after Thanksgiving unless it's supposed to rain in which case we try to sneak away on Thanksgiving Day. We went out on Friday afternoon this year and AnAn and Frankie decided to partake of the tradition with us. I was filled with the Christmas spirit and so looking forward to the fun, the family time, the memories, etc. And other than it being a little on the warm side, everything started so promising. 

Half of our crew making the trek to our fave leyland cyress trees.

Sweet girl was oblivious. =)

Somehow it worked out that we were the very last to choose a tree amongst our group. I think we needed something a tad shorter than the majority of trees available and I was looking for something full so that I felt confident about all of our ornaments going on just fine. My indecisive trait came out, and with it, the complaining from my loves. Oh at first all my boys were having a ball and filled with joy just like me. But as we warmed up from the higher temps and walked lots and lots, the complaining began and all of a sudden things weren't quite so fun. Haha.

The O'Mary fam found their tree first! Piper's first trip to the tree farm was a successful one! =)

My parents found their tree next. And the Selph fam continued to search.... and continued to unravel. Haha! Austin was hot and thirsty and wanted to be held because he was tired of walking. Layton was just plain tired and sort of over the whole experience. And Garrison was just ready to hurry up and be done. #Goodtimes 

We finally went back to the first tree we really liked and had marked and decided to just go with it, imperfections and all.

Here we are with our tree! FINALLY. =)

Papa cut it down for us with the assistance of the boys and all was well once we could go play on the little playground they have, plus get water or hot chocolate before loading all the trees into Papa's truck and heading for home. 

Then comes the dreaded tree stand. We have almost NEVER had a pleasant experience getting our live tree into a tree stand properly without issues. Ughhhhhh. It's my least favorite part about getting a live tree. This year we had the help of both my dad and Frankie and it was still a bad experience. Gracious. Once we finally had it secure (or so we thought) Terrell headed over to my parents' house to assist them with getting their tree in the stand and then it was almost time to meet Terrell's side of the family for supper.

After getting the boys in bed Friday night Terrell and I set to work getting the lights on the tree. This isn't my favorite but I do love the tradition of it. It's just sort of special and brings back memories of growing up and watching my parents, grandparents, and even my aunt and uncle hang lights on their trees. =) Thankfully we had no issues with getting the lights on and were ready to decorate as a family first thing Saturday morning after breakfast.

We finally found a good system with the kiddos for decorating the tree that doesn't involve ornaments flying or being ripped out of boxes or broken, etc. Terrell prepares the ornaments and gets them out ready to be hung by me and my little elves. 

My big boys hanging the very first ornaments on our tree!

Layton even participated a little. (He was mainly just into everything though. Haha.)

We had Christmas music playing, lots of ornaments on the tree, everyone enjoying seeing all of our ornaments with their special and sentimental meanings, and just the fun of it all........ when the tree decided to FALL completely over. Basically on top of Terrell who was sitting in the floor with our boxes of ornaments and managed to semi catch it just as I was screaming out a warning, ornaments fell to the floor, and the big boys burst into tears. It was as pleasant an experience as you might imagine. Honestly I almost burst into tears with the boys. It was awful. And traumatizing for them. And who am I kidding? Me too. *Sad face*

We managed to get the tree upright and secured once again (or so we thought) and then ushered the boys to the basement so we could assess the damage and clean up the mess. The boys were pretty upset. We heard things like Christmas is ruined now. It's all my fault. I think I made it fall when I was hanging my ornament. Now we can't have a tree. It was all very dramatic as everything was said through sobs and tears. 

Thankfully the majority of our ornaments survived and we called my parents to tell them the news and ask for help. The tree almost fell again and we decided to prop it against the wall and Terrell went out in search of a new stand and then my parents came over to help. Between Terrell and my dad, we got the tree properly secured and in place and have been holding our breath ever since. 

Terrell and I both questioned whether all the trouble and headache and risk to ornaments and our sanity was worth it. Are live Christmas trees dead to us now? Can we continue on this way? Why???? 

But, alas we managed to finish decorating later on Saturday and the tree turned out beautiful. Like one of our favorites ever. And we were pretty much smitten and thankful we persevered and all was forgiven. 

The only picture we managed of all 3 babies in front of the tree. Layton wasn't exactly in a picture taking mood. 

I really do love this tree despite all it's put us through. =) It's full of lots of special and sentimental ornaments and the twinkle lights just make for a beautiful view from my kitchen. I can't wait to start wrapping presents!!

So thankful for all my boys and especially my big ones as they helped so much and were so into the whole experience. I'm counting on them to remain this festive from now on. =)

We also finished decorating the boys' little trees in their rooms over the weekend and they both turned out perfect. This one is Layton's and is just an overall "boy" tree with a mixture of sports, a tractor and a jeep, a Cookie Monster and Elmo, a drum, etc. So far it's the only tree to remain upright this Christmas season.

And this one is the big boys' and is also a mixture of anything boy. Sports, athletes, superheroes, etc. They leave theirs on every night at bedtime until talking time is over and they're ready to go to sleep. Both trees are pretty special as they both represent all the things my boys love. And Layton only pulled this tree over once as he was attempting to pull an ornament off. Sigh. Never a dull moment around here.

Christmas trees galore. One of my favorite things about the season. Even though the plight of the live one isn't always fun. =)


Brandi Swatts said...

Oh Meggie! Everything is always an adventure with your sweet family! This story reminds me of Christmases with my parents - my parents always joke about how they almost got divorced every year over getting the tree straight and in the stand ☺. Thankfully Josh loves decorating and doesn't mind the challenge of getting the tree up...I just leave it to him haha

Brandi Swatts said...

Oh Meggie! Everything is always an adventure with your sweet family! This story reminds me of Christmases with my parents - my parents always joke about how they almost got divorced every year over getting the tree straight and in the stand ☺. Thankfully Josh loves decorating and doesn't mind the challenge of getting the tree up...I just leave it to him haha