Oh the Christmas Tree, it is one of my all time favorite things. When I was a child we always had a real tree..artificial was unheard of in my house. Usually about two weeks before Christmas our Dad would pack all the kids in the car and off we would go to find a ''Tree Lot'', the kind with strings of Christmas lights marking the boundaries. He would pick up the trees and stand them up scrutinizing each one until he found one that we all thought measured up. Once we got it home, Dad would put the tree up in it's stand and then it was time for Mom to take over. She was in charge of decorating and with the help of the kids the decorations would go on in no time. The last thing to be done was the tinsel and my Mom was a "one string at a time and hang it perfectly straight" type of gal.
I've always been partial to the real thing but I have an artificial tree now just because I want Christmas to start early. I want the tree up by the end of November so that I can have a full month with it and yes, my tree is already up this year. I don't usually take it down until after New Year's. Having a real one for that length of time gets a little messy. Oh and I don't do tinsel. I just don't have the patience for that ''one string at a time'' thing.
For a few years we decided to go all out traditional and went to a Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our own tree. This is the kind of farm that has a Christmas store, gazebo, sleigh rides and hot apple cider in barrels outside. It was great to get into the Christmas spirit but those trees, as beautiful as they are, just don't last as long as I want them to.