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Friday, December 11, 2015

Our Christmas Tree

Happy Friday, dear readers!

Along with the arrival of the weekend was the arrival of our Christmas Tree! This is a huge occasion for my husband and I because in our three years of marriage, this is the first time we've ever gotten a tree. Prior to this auspicious day, a lack of funds and a lack of space made searching for and setting up a Christmas Tree difficult. As a result, my husband and I didn't bother with the whole mess and we were just fine without it. But when the baby came, things changed. My husband and I both have fond memories of setting up a Christmas Tree when we were younger, and we felt that it would be good for the baby if we could continue that tradition as well.

We found a 5'-6' Douglas Fir tree at a nearby Home Depot tree lot. I'd initially planned to get a Noble Fir one in the 3'-5' range as they were the cheapest trees on the lot (they were running like $24 and some change), but when I saw them in the flesh, I changed my mind. The Noble Firs were, quite literally, Charlie Brown trees with their anemic-looking branches and sparse needles. For a few dollars more, the $28 range, we could upgrade to a Douglas Fir that was much fuller and about two feet taller. My husband agreed with my assessment and I picked out the tree. The lot attendant gave us our name ticket with the bar code so we could pay inside, and set about doing a few cuts so that the tree would stay fresh throughout the holiday season.

Bad lighting aside, this was our tree just after it was brought in before any modifications were made


Before we paid for our tree, we needed to get some lights. While my husband did amass a collection of LED light strings that he used to illuminate his tent and our old trailer, the lights only worked about half the time. Suffice to say, an upgrade was needed. We got a few clear LED strings and briefly debated getting colored lights before my husband's utilitarianism won out against acquiring them. The crappy old lights could go on the fence for decoration, but the nice new ones were to make the tree look respectable.

After paying, it was time to collect our tree. My husband went to bring the car while I went to get the tree. Despite its bulky appearance, the tree was not heavy nor were its needles sharp. I felt like an old-school Russian peasant as I hoisted the tree over one shoulder and carried it like a log to the car just a few feet away. We tied it to the roof, just like everyone in every Christmas movie ever, and I added an extra "safety" tie since my husband is a bit of a hot-rodder and I did not want our tree to go flying off somewhere because he decided to gun the car.

Once we were safely home, my husband put the tree in its stand and moved it into its present location near the front door, trimming a few stray branches here and there. Once I tidied the area a bit and vacuumed the needles which had shed, it was time to do some decorating.

Daddy doing the lights

Man at work, still more lights to go on

The lit tree, dark

The lit tree, with flash


To get the Tux penguin lamp on top of the tree, my husband had to take the battery base off and manipulate the light string placement a bit so that the penguin would have a light bulb up its ass and light up when the tree was lit too. Fortunately, I didn't have to wire the penguin to the top of the tree like I first thought, since the tip branch was sturdy enough to act as a pike for mounting. I topped off the penguin with a ghetto-style wreath headband made from the tree trimmings and some twist-ties.

Ta-Da! The *mostly* finished tree


By the time we were done, I was getting hungry and we agreed to hold off on decorating the tree with old computer parts till tomorrow. I needed to find the wire and cutters, and my husband had to look for the parts. I called it a night after my husband made a batch of Miracle-Gro and filled the bowl of the stand with it so that the tree would be hydrated and fed. We'll have *proper* ornaments as well, since family and friends have sent us some, but I'm looking forward to modifying old RAM and memory sticks.

And these, dear readers, are how Christmas memories are made.

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