Monday, November 26, 2012

A Christmas Confession

So today officially begins the Christmas season around the home place. Both pilgrims are safely back to school and work, and Super Dad headed out this morning for a busy week of money making.

That leaves Herself the Elf to begin preparations for the most festive time of the year.
 Ho. Ho. Ho.

I thought I'd start this holiday season with a little yuletide confession for you. 
I hate to decorate the Christmas tree. 

It's true. Not only do I hate it; I've generally flunked it for the past 28 years. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, either. By rights, I should have inherited a Christmas tree gene.  The Duchess puts up fifteen full sized designer trees. The Farm Sister is working on her own slippery slope with six of them.

Me? I struggle to put up one.  

Part of the blame for that lies with the man of the house, who insists on buying a live tree. 

Everyone knows that elves with Decorating Deficiency Disorder ought to stick to artificial Christmas trees. They're just plain easier to work with. With a faux tree, you can bend those boughs any way you have a mind to. They never sag when you stick a heavy ornament on them and create a gaping hole where a branch is supposed to be, either.

For years, I tried to convince him to go with a nice, artificial one, pre-lit if possible.  It would be so much easier, I said.  Just whip out  the box from the attic and set her up.  No trips to the tree lot. No cuttings all over the back deck. No lights to stretch out all over the floor. No belly crawls every few days to check the water level.

But he said...

No evergreen aroma to waft through the home place. 

OK... technically, he said, "They don't smell good", but since I was tossing him under the bus, I thought I ought to at least make him sound a little more eloquent. The man just has a thing for tradition, and in his mind Christmas isn't Christmas unless it smells like Pine Sol.

So every year on the day after Thanksgiving, we head to the tree lot and buy our annual forty dollar Pine Sol. I used to try to make a family outing out of it, but as the years passed, dad and daughters were more than happy to leave Ebenezer Scrooge behind.

This year, dad went all by himself.  

I shall never allow him to do that again.  

I took one walk around that beast and decided that Christie Kringle was way above my pay grade. Not only is she built like the governor of New Jersey, but she appears to be sprouting whiskers. I honestly didn't know where to begin.

But fortunately...

Although I didn't inherit the Christmas tree gene, I am a carrier.  One of the two daughters has been putting up Duchess trees for years and was glad to dig through my meager supply of tree ornaments to give me this:

.I like it. 

I still need to trim some whiskers and fill in some gaps, but she left me with a great start and good suggestions before flying back to Capitol Hill.

I'm off now to by some gap stuffing. I might just update this if I'm pleased with my additions.

So far, that's the only decorating I've done around here. As you can see, Christie Kringle is sitting next to a fall mantel. Such is life on Debbie Drive.

So what about you?
 Do you like to decorate the Christmas tree? 
Do you use a real one or a faux one? 
Inquiring minds want to know...


Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

i'm truly shocked indeed. i have yet to meet a dis-like-r of christmas tree decorating. you are the 1st. guess there are folks that prefer it more than others. i enjoy it ... but my perfectionist side comes out & when i sit & look at it after it is all up & what not ... there are times when i will take things off & start again. i have a certain look i go for ...trying to explain that would make no sense. i just know what i like & that is that. ha. ha!! no ornament should ever touch another. each should have it's own branch. i use an artificial tree that i light up myself & it was our 1st wedding gift from my parents. love it. straight up on the smaller tall tree. perfect for our home. i'm looking at it now. funny thing is ... i got another smaller tree & put lots of disney ornaments on that one & you would think i would have more room but for some reason it feel it is still pretty full. ha. ha!! hey, find fun in what you enjoy, that's what i say. go decorative what you enjoy!! have a great week. ( :

Barbara F. said...

I can understand the smell part, but there are some great candles, Scentsy warmers, etc. to cover that part! I used to do fresh, just got to be too much for me. Your daughter did a great job, and it is a beautiful tree. xo

Mrs.Rabe said...

For years I was the only tree decorator, but this year Kyle (age 7) and Sarah (age 10) helped me! Yea!

I must say I love decorating the tree, but hated doing the lights. So now my darling husband puts the lights on the tree for me, then I can swoop in and make it beautiful!

Yours is lovely and your daughter did a great job!


Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Oh I am laughing sooooooooooo hard!! I am with your husband and yet we bought a fake one last year to save money and I HATE...yes that is the word...not going and buying a real tree...I think it is horrible for Benjamin to not get to go pick out a I am trying my hardest to figure out if I collect all our pennies can I go buy a real tree...or will I have to decorate a fake one.

Now I must say...your tree looks great and I don't know why you think you don't have the decorating tree gene..oh my, I am not showing mine!!! LOL

Enjoy the smell and tell hubby I am with him on real trees!!

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Ah well we used to buy real in pots so we could plant them out back. That was when we HAD a large out back. Now it's prelit stand up and slap stuff on. So much easier, much less fuss and muss.
I'm not big on the decorating either but do love it when it's done.

elizabeth said...

Your tree looks lovely!!!! I too, love the tree once it's done, but the whole fir needle mess and dragging out all the boxes, and wanting it to look perfect is not my favorite.

I do have a fun story to share. My missionary daughter and the two grandkids are staying with us the next few months. So, yesterday afternoon I talked the grand kids into going on a run with me. The neighbor two blocks over was selling noble firs for their boy scout troop for only $15, so the grand kids and I made a spontaneous decision and bought one and lugged it home and put it up! Usually we wait until December, but all of the house decor is already done! The grandkids enthusiasm spurred me on.

Maryann said...

We decided to go for a fake tree last year...and we got it pre-lit As far as decorating it goes...I HATE pulling the decorations out but once I get past that, I don't really mind decorating the tree. Yours is beautiful

Sharon said...

Answer to your questions:

I love to decorate the Christmas tree.

It has to be a real one - and I spend a lot of time perusing the tree lot, looking for *THE ONE* that speaks to me.

OK, yes, "The Hub" is also quite into the whole process, too - so it makes the challenge of decorating a whole lot more fun. And, he is the one who keeps track of the water. I can't tell you how many ornaments I have knocked off with my Rudolph hindquarters...

Looks like you have a great start on a White Christmas - can't wait to see your additions.

Ho, Ho, Ho.

Debbie said...

Oh how I enjoyed this, haha...Soo here is how I feel. For years and years and yes YEARS our Christmas tree was real and we made a family trip out of the selecting of the tree and then the decorating of it etc. It was a FAMILY project complete with Christmas music and cookies and hot chocolate etc. Of course there was always the fights among the brothers, and the frustration of holes, messes, and annoyances when the thing would begin to wilt and droop DAYS before Christmas was even here,and the futile attempt at getting the lights on and evenly distributed. If I am telling the absolute truth, nothing suited me better then to finally be done with the whole thing to exclude the taking down of it when NO ONE could ever be found and many a time I was on this project all by my lomesome, pricking my fingers on dead needles and branches etc., and the sweeping and cleaning of millions of brown needles. REALLY hated this part of it. Soo after our last child left home we bought our first "fake" tree (so this will be the fifth year) and let me tell you it is just as good as I ever dreamed it would be. No trips and ridculously priced trees, no fights, no holes, no messes, and it is just as beautiful, and I simply keep candles burning for that fresh pine scent. Now the question is, Do I enjoy putting this one up? or for that matter taking it down? I guess the honest answer would be, "Not really!" haha. I LOVE looking at it, I LOVE the grandkids enjoying it, I just LOVE the whole idea of the Christmas tree and the cherished and collected ornaments over the years, but it is just not my cup of tea, lol. I'd love to hire it done, and believe it or not I knew a few people who did just that. I can't bring myself to do that even if I had the money though. Soo I am not sure what this makes me?! haha It's nice to know someone shares some of my feelings on this task. Your tree btw is GORGEOUS!! I love it. Beautifully decorated in my opinion. I think that is another one of my problems. I always imagine this image of our tree in my mind, and the reality of it is NEVER quite there.

Sorry for the book I have written, but you did ask, lol

Enjoy the rest of your decorating!

Gaby said...

I'm with you: if it was up to me we would not have a tree. I'm too practical for the time it takes to decorate and then undecorate shortly after. But, having three sentimental people in my house, we do it every year. But artificial, with the lights already attached and ready to be plugged in. That's all!

Dianne said...

Debbie--You are so funny--your sense of humor is surely God given and you are so sharp with it--you are a "carrier"--makes me wonder what all I am a carrier of--uhmmmmmmm, will have to think on that and write a post--

Your tree is beautiful--

We have a faux--sounds so much better than fake but I can't help but love a real tree--

Vee said...

Now isn't that a corker?! I love it!!

(I gave up real trees long ago because, while I love the aroma, I despise the mess. I also want a tree through the darkest days of winter so mine stays up through Epiphany. I'd love to have real one outside all decorated for the neighbors. Perhaps that's the route I should take.)

I am no fan of decorating the tree real or faux. I'm terribly impressed with your daughter!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, you are so far ahead of me, Debbie!! Fall is still EVERYWHERE! LOL! I finally gave up on holding out for the "real" tree about four years ago... I still miss the scent of Pine Sol. ;) Lucky you to have a helper with the decorating!! blessings ~ tanna

Miss Char said...

OK ya cracked me up Debbie with your DDD and sweetie I sure needed it. The tree looks fabulous and I'll be stopping by to enjoy it rather than decorating one of my own.

Merlesworld said...

As it is summer when we used a real tree things moved in or were already there and multiplied so we had a fake tree for some time now, it doesn't smell the same but much easier.

Carol OurSearsKitHome said...

It looks beautiful, Debbie. Nice to have had such great help!
I always had real tree, Mister got a pre-lit a few years ago for us. Which means there is always at least a small section burned out.
I have some piney candles, and someone gave me pine "scentsicles".
My choice, anything but pre-lit. I can string lights myself. And I vacuum and pick up those faux needles YEAR ROUND. We even have one embedded in the polyurethane of the kitchen floor!

Denise said...

I can't believe that for 50+ years I didn't know you didn't like to decorate your tree! I'm so very glad the good Lord saw fit to provide you with a tree decorator...AKA Miss Practical. She did a wonderful job. The tree looks fabulous. The Duchess should be proud!

We haven't had a real tree for a long time. I don't think my daughters even remember us having one. (26 years?) But I adore decorating mine. I struggle with the ribbon but the newlywed niece of yours pitches in to help me. Don't really like the prelit ones, though, because of fixing them when a string goes out.

I hope to finish tree #2 and #3 tomorrow. This book club had me snowed under today. Should have read earlier in the month. Anyway, I can't wait to decorate tomorrow!!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I think your tree looks great, love the ribbon! The tree is a big deal in my world, I spend all of Black Friday and how ever any other days of Thanksgiving weekend decorating it. Since I have animated/spinning ornaments I need an artificial tree (for the reasons you mentioned). I do enjoy the decorating process though... oh, and the leftovers:@)

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

What a magnificent tree. It is so full and beautifully shaped. I love a real tree and grew up with nothing else, but when we had little children I worried terribly about the fire danger part. It's dry where we live and cold too. We love a flaming fireplace, so I have a fake tree and scents. I also like to put it up by December 1st and it would in the garbage by December 24th!

Decorating is a chore, but I love all the lights, trees, candlelight and presents. I hope to have it all done by Friday night. We have a Christmas party Saturday...Ho! Ho! Ho! Thanks for sharing and helping me get in the mood....

The Polka Dot Closet said...

OK, first that is one huge gorgeous tree..Daddy did good and the kids did a great job of decorating. If I had a basement (Stupid Florida water level crap) I would decorate a tree, cover it in garbage bags and leave it decorated to unbag for the next year! Yes sister blogger I totally get it....Psst don't tell anyone, but with the exception of the "Reason for the season", I don't really like Christmas!


Chatty Crone said...

Your tree is gorgeous and BIG! Did I say Big. That is a huge tree to decorate and I think that it is beautiful.

I have to say - I don't like dragging the tree from the basement - up the stars - and take it out of the box - bring the bulbs up - etc.

So I have now handed it over to my daughter - am I bad or not?


Gina said...

I think your tree looks lovely! You did a great job.

Funny story about your husband & his love for a real tree. My husband was thrilled when I said I wanted an artificial tree! He said it saved him from hours of wandering around a tree lot with me driving him nuts every step of the way! lol

Christine said...

Oh, I got bit hard by the Christmas bug this year! The tree is the last to go up.

Your tree has inspired me to head out and get a REAL tree.

Ann said...

ROTFLMAO....Too funny, Debbie....LOL, governor of NJ ....

OK, now can YOU...the master of table decorating...not like tree decorating?

I like trying to out do Martha far, she's winning.... sigh....

We do use artificial, but only because our first Christmas overseas, our real tree lost ALL it's needles by Christmas eve. We opened gifts that year beside a pile of evergreen needles. Try to explain that to a 5 year old.

I love real trees but their cost is outrageous, and we can have our "faux" tree up for the entire month with no worries.

MD did a terrific job!

Merry Christmas!

Mevely317 said...

Guilty as charged!
I, too, HATE decorating the tree ... only on account I never got over flunking 4th grade art class - lol.
We've a fake beauty (pre-lit) that DH doesn't mind decorating, as long as I keep chiming in with plenty of "oooh's and aaaah's"!
Yours is breathtaking. No, really!

Mary said...

Debbie~ I love it and its governor of NJ shape!:) I'm from the camp of real trees! They do smell like Christmas and it can't be duplicated by a candle or diffuser oil. I used to put a live downstairs and an artificial upstairs. Artificial are easier to decorate but your hands look like you were in a cat fight after you put them up. Alas I made the conversion to artificial-only trees when I closed my shop and had a big prelit tree that was homeless.

My husband discovered to his delight this weekend (as I watched him from the sofa hugging my tissues), that our prelit one was no longer prelit! After 45 minutes of checking all the connections and bulbs, he spent another 45 minutes cutting the burned out strands with a wire cutter to remove them. It did not put him in the mood for Ho Ho Ho and Fa La La :)

CAL said...

WOW IT IS GORGEOUS!!! Can I come over and sniff? I do miss the pine aroma and bought something called 'scentsickles'. You hang these plastic sticks that are scented with pine on the fake tree to fake out people!! Wonder if the plastic sticks are impregnated with pine soll?!

Sooner Laura said...

If someone would decorate my BIG tree I'd be thrilled. I'm fine to do it myself if someone will "fluff" it's little faux branches and make sure the lights are working. Then just let me do the ribbon garland and ornaments. My advice to you is leave the tree just like your daughter decorated it and move on to decorating the mantle.

Laurie Ritchey said...

Debbie, your tree is beautiful! I'm shocked over your confession. You are so creative, I would have thought decorating the tree would rate high on your list of fun activities. I also have to say that I love your Larry Wilde quote on your sidebar. We have two real trees! Our adult son insists that this is a tradition that cannot be changed. Of course, he's not living at home now, and he and his family have a real tree at their house. You'd think that would suffice. When I talk about getting an artificial tree, he says he'll take it out and burn it. I don't know whether or not I believe him, but I'm afraid to tempt him. We don't have our trees up yet, but I went to Lowe's this weekend, and they gave me clippings from trees they had sold. I am arguing that, with the clippings I have in pots on the mantel, we already have the pine smell and can get artificial trees, but my argument isn't persuasive enough for our son and my husband. (To be honest, I am concerned that artificial trees would not provide enough space for all of our ornaments, and I am not one to minimalize my ornaments!) I wish you had a "Subscribe To" button on your blog. I'd love to know when you do a new post. laurie

Barb said...

Hi Debbie,
I didn't exactly 'hate' decorating the tree....but it definately was a chore. I always loved it when it was finished......
We have a fibre optic tree now...just a small one.
When the kids were young we always went to my parents house and Hubby climbed the ladder and sawed branches off my dad's pine tree.
We gave away these trees after choosing the one we wanted. This was a tradition until the kids grew older and lost interest and Hubby's back started to go on him.
Fake can be fabulous..
Your tree looks absolutely wonderful.
Have a good day
Barb from Australia

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Shocking! :)
That's a beautiful big tree!
We've had a real tree every year except this year. I finally persuaded my husband and daughter to let me have a fake one. A white one!! I'm in heaven! No more sap or pine needles that I find 6 months later. AnD it's pre-lit so I don't have to mess with a ton of lights. Joy!!

Shanee Duke said...

Hello, my name is Shanee and I hate decorating Christmas trees. Go figure that since I generally put up 6 or 7! I like creating the themes, buying or making the ornaments and enjoying them during the season, but the decorating part...yuck! We use one real tree, our family tree. You are correct it doesn't always cooperate and never looks "as good" as the other trees, but it has all the family ornaments, kids crafts etc., so it is BEAUTIFUL TO US! lol Your tree looks lovely and I am sure the Elf Herself will get in the swing any minute now :)

Lynn Richards said...

No. I dislike decorating the tree. My fantasy is to have someone plunk down a tree all done in my ornaments. And then come over to take it down. And vacuum.
We bought a fake tree. My eldest refused to decorate it. I have resigned myself to a small 3 ft. tree in the family room that is real. She's not home to decorate it anymore, so I'm still doing it by myself. Brenna will help for about 10 minutes. The worst part is the lights. I hate putting on lights as there are never, ever enough. Heaven help me if I ever put tinsel on another tree in my life. All growing up we had to put it on one.strand. at. a. time.

Cand the duchess come over and do my tree???????
such a good topic. we could really go to town on this one!

InGodzHandz7 said...

Oh, Debbie, I love, love, love your wreath, your tree and your post! I have had my years at not wanting to decorate the tree, and my own Knight in Shining Armor likes the Pine Sol smell too. We used to buy the real deal tree, but then we had two babies in 2 years, and the cost of diapers ended that Pine Sol smelling event. Now the Knight in Shining Armor mops the kitchen and bathroom floors just before Christmas day and the smell is back! He uses too much of the stuff, but hey, who am I to complain, I'm not the one pushing the mop! I've looked all over the place for an artificial Pine Sol candle or air freshener, and there is not one on the market that brings back that Pine Sol smell like the real deal tree except the bottle of Pine Sol itself. This year my beautiful daughters have been playing the Decorate the Tree game with me and we are almost done. Sir Knight in Shining Armor strung the lights for us after Little Bit put the puzzle pieces together in the shape of the tree. Then she and Bright Eyes hung the ornaments. I am going through the boxes and setting out Nativity scenes and Past Christmas pictures when the girls were younger, and also attending to the Christmas dishes. This year I am going to be teaching Beautiful Daughters how to properly wrap gifts and we are going to bake Christmas goodies for friends and family. I am looking forward to a wonderful Christ- filled Christmas this year as Abba Father has blessed us so richly by simply saving our souls.

Much love and blessings to you, dear Friend!


Jennie said...

This is why we let the kids decorate the tree while we can still "blame" it on them. I am SO NOT a tree-decorator. (Okay, fine...I'm not a decorator of any kind!) We always, always get a live tree, because I adore the smell and the NJ governor shape complete with whiskers. Hahaha - I thought it was a beautiful naked tree and a beautiful trimmed tree! I must relate more to that husband of yours than I realized! ;) Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Sue said...

Oh Debbie, I loved this post. My trees and I have a long history and much too much to put in a blog comment, but the progression has been something like, first only a real tree, then, a real and a fake, then pretty soon it was 2 fakes ~ and then I don't know how we got to 5 full size trees exactly. I will admit that I love the end result but the process of getting them there, not as much as I used to. In fact at the moment, all 5 are up and lit and not a decoration on any of them. I am kinda liking the "simple" look, but I know I will put on the memories. Because in the end that's what they are to me, trees full of 35 years of memories.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

What a nice diversion tonight! I'm glad I had a minute to stop by. For many years we had a real tree, but I finally got tired of the "wasted money" and wasted time cleaning up after that shedding monster and made the switch to faux. I'll admit to looking back a time or two, but mostly I'm content with the choice as long as I pick up some scrap branches from the tree lot so the house will smell like Pine Sol. :-) I don't necessarily like the chore of hauling out ornaments and hanging them on the tree -- often trees -- but I do love the final look! We, too, usually start decorating the day after Thanksgiving, but not this year. I suspect I'm going to have to take a minimal approach to decorating this year ... whenever I finally make it back home. Top priority: Little Sir's Christmas stocking! For now, I'm going to take another look at your gorgeous tree. It really has a beautiful shape, and The Practical One did a great job. Now she can go home and decorate a tree at her own cute little abode!

Crickit said...

I don't really enjoy decorating the tree either. I like putting Christmas knick knacks around and putting garland on the stair railing. Those are easy. Your tree looks beautiful by the way! Can I borrow your daughter to do mine? :)

Kathleen said...

Well, I'm somewhere in between when it comes to decorating the tree. My husband actually does most of the decorating around here. I do the tweeking and finishing off. We're both usually happy with the end result. Your tree is spectacularly pretty! What a clever girl your daughter is!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I am laughing so hard I'm crying. My favorite line? The fact that your tree is shaped like the governor of NJ and is sprouting whiskers. And here I thought it was beautiful. Your daughter did a great job decorating, too.

Me? I'm an absolute tree nut. Not literally, mind you... well, maybe a little.

I have a fake tree and just added another to our stash. We are doing Christmas in St. Augustine instead of the homestead, and I didn't want to be carting trees. I bought one at Big Lots on sale, and it is the perfect size for my little corner. It has a personality disorder, however, because it has snowmen living beside fish and flip flops.

Oh, and did I mention thatI have a very bad addiction to Christmas ornaments? I have many of my mother's plus others I have bought or was given over the years. I mean, we are talking zillions. And I can't resist new ones at Big Lots, craft sales, trips to Oz and back, etc.

The reason I have a fake tree is because I'm allergic to the live ones. Firs aren't as bad, but they are all offenders. I don't want a sinus infection so we have to make do with a fake. I don't like fake trees (and I"m too frugal aka cheap to buy a good one), but we make do. And they turn out pretty cute. Back in the day, I had trees that were ginomrous, loaded with ornaments and wired to the walls. LOL One time, I ended up uder the tree after I put the last ornament on it. Fortunately, it wasn't a huge tree and even more fortunate is that I had the portable phone in my hand (yes, I was yakking). Fred had to come home and lift the tree off of me because I didn't want to break any ornaments. Only a few broke, but we learned a valuable lesson. Tie down your tree. AND the weird thing, Debbie, is that it was fairly equally decorated. I just must have tugged wrong ,and WHAMO!

Now, I can do a Crismon tree (that's fancy Presbypalian talk for a tree with religious emblems), a sock monkey tree (I have these to excess!), a tree with balls (lots and LOTS of those), a musical tree (I bought one at a tree auction when I was president of a women's group the year we had a tree auction and got to keep the COOL ornaments which were all wooden harps and violins donated by the person who decorated the tree), or just a general Christmas tree with everything including the kitchen sink on it which is my favorite. I have done serious trees, but my favorites are the ones that children love. And Cecelia is still talking about the one I did four years ago that was covered in ornaments. She loved that one best and the white one in the kitchen that has funny sock monkey and donuts and stuff on it.

Now as far as this year, I had bought a few ornaments two years ago and made some more to go on the tree for the Tour of Homes, but I added to them this year with some cheapies from Dollar Tree, Walmart, and eBay.

Yes, I confess, this is my weakness, and this year, I have really not wanted to decorate. I'm not sure what is wrong with me, but I'm not in the mood to celebrate. But that's just wrong. This is the birthday of the Lord, and it should be celebrated wtih all the bells and whistles. And yes, I realize that some scholars think he was born in the fall, but that doesn't change the fact that we chose to celebrate his birth now. He is worthy of celebration every day, but I'm preaching to the choir here.

Okay, is that enough yalkking? I am not even sure if you will see this since I'm late to this post, but that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Love you...



The Quintessential Magpie said...

Did I say Walmart? No. I have no idea how that got in there. I meant Big Lots and Beall's Outlet (which had some great nautical stuff like a whale and flip flops for our little cottage by the sea). And Dollar Tree is my favorite place to fine cute things to go on packages. They have little wooden nutcrackers, two for $1.00, and they are good stocking stuffers or package decorations. And for quality ornaments, I have shopped etsy. I forgot about that. I am hurrying and sleepy. Not a good combo for blogging. ;-)

Alycia Nichols said...

OK...I am now off the floor, tears of laughter dried from my eyes, and ribs popped back into place from laughing so hard. Oh, Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. This is SO funny! First of all, it is just SO hard to believe that you don't care for decorating the tree. You do such beautiful decorating otherwise that I would think this just comes naturally to you. I will admit, however, that up until about 10 years ago I, too, was intimidated at the thought of decorating the tree. It was always a daunting task. Still can be. I am so grateful to whoever thought up pre-lit trees. They have made my life exponentially easier. That was the part I hated most. I have since learned how to create depth and how to do ribbon and how to work with oversized ornaments, so I've gotten much better as time drags on. I feel for you having to work with a live tree. Those things are monsters! I have no idea why men have the idea that only a live tree will do! I had to cure my husband, and it took nothing short of a lobotomy to do so. He also likes the biggest tree in the store, but I have since "fixed" that way of thinking. I put up several trees each year, and not one of them is real, not one of them is more than 6-ft. tall, and not one of them has a circumference greater than my waistline. (Actually, that last one is nothing to brag about!) All hail your daughter with the tree decorating gene!!! She did a fantastic job! As for your dear, sweet, well-meaning but misguided husband...I still have that lobotomy kit in the closet if you wanna borrow it! :-)


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