I still remember cutting down our Christmas tree each year growing up. It was always the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We would go out to lunch after church and then head out to the tree farm to cut it down. That evening, we’d pull out all the ornaments, decorate the house and enjoy the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree.
When we got married, I made Brad continue the tradition. We did move it to the day after Thanksgiving some years, and for a couple years we bought it at our local tree stand rather than cutting it down. But it was always a fresh tree. Our home has vaulted ceilings in the living room so our goal was always to have a tall tree that utilized this space. However, tall trees are also very wide so it seemed like the tree would take up half the living room.
Then we had “the flood“. On December 30th, 2015, our downstairs flooded thanks to a broken toilet pipe (don’t worry, it was all fresh water). This flood led to a 5 month renovation project, all new floors, and an opportunistic kitchen remodel.
The next November, Brad and I were at Costco picking up items for Thanksgiving and I saw their Christmas decorations. I had never considered going to the “dark side” of Christmas trees; however, sitting there at Costco was a nice pre-lit tree which could have either white or multicolored lights. This tree would not ruin my brand new bamboo floors with watering mishaps, nor would I be terrified of having the lights on because of fire hazards.
This flood led to other changes in our home; specifically the room where we spend most of our time. Before the flood, we spent most of our time in the front living room; however, when we re-did the kitchen, we moved the large TV to the back room, along with the big sectional couch. This also meant that the Christmas tree spot could move from the bay window in the back of the living room, to smack dab in the front with the lights shining out the front window in all their glory.
Since I’m no longer worried about the fire danger of a dried-out tree, the lights are almost always on (and do so automatically thanks to my Smartthings Hub). Even as I type this, I’m sitting in the living room basking in the lights of the Christmas tree.
While I miss the experience of picking out the perfect tree, and the amazing scent of a fresh Christmas tree; I’m no longer worried about whether the tree is damaging our floors, if I’ve remembered to water it, or whether the tree is going to spontaneously burst into flames if I leave the lights on too long. I’m glad we “went fake”, because I’m finally ENJOYING our tree.