Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our Great Tree Adventure

It's that time. We've gone on vacation, ate our share of turkey, scored some great deals at the stores and returned to Toronto eager to begin our Christmas decorating. After arriving home during the wee hours of Sunday morning and sleeping for a few hours, I was up, out of bed and pulling our boxes of decoration from storage. Most of what I found was for the kitchen, with the remainder being boxes of ornaments. However, with this being our first Christmas in our home - we had to decide what tree our ornaments would be adorning!
In my family, my Dad has been going to the same tree farm to cut down a real tree since he was around my age. Every year it's tradition to bundle up, trek out to the farm and bring home a big FAT tree. As this has been such a big part of my Christmas tradition, we both just assumed we'd once again take part in this annual outting and bring home our own tree. However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to think that may not be for us.

The thought of trying to cram a real tree into our little living space freaked me out a little. We already knew we would be sacrificing some space to get it in, and our family is well known for always picking the BIGGEST tree (seriously, when people arrive at my parents annual Boxing Day open house they actually make a beeline for the tree to see how big it is that year). It's never done on purpose - it's just a perspective thing (the great outdoors vs. my parents family room).

Then there was the thought of the tree needles all over the house. The more I thought about the needles falling all over the floor (and I'm sure the dogs tail wouldn't help this matter) the more irritated I became. Ever since we moved in together, my true clean freak has emerged! I'm pretty hardcore about keeping our pad tidy (and clutter free) and just thinking about having to clean up after the tree was enough to drive me mad.

But when it really comes down to it, my final deciding factor was... I'm impatient! My dad always goes to cut down the tree two weekends before Christmas (this year it falls on the 12th) and I honestly didn't want to wait that long! So, on Monday night we headed out in search of an artifical tree, and agreed if there was nothing we liked, we would get a real tree. This of course, was just the start of our whole ordeal.

After trying Costco and Canadian Tire, and finding nothing that we liked (or that fit our budget), we finally came across the perfect tree at Home Depot. Pleased with our tree, but disappointed they were sold out of lights, we headed for the self check out discussing where to head next on our hunt for LEDs. In typical self check-out fashion, we picked the side where a lady was finishing up and no one was waiting behind her. Once she was done, B began to hoist the tree box to scan the barcode and some guy runs over and cuts in front of us saying "There's a line over there!". B and I look over our shoulders (spying no line) and B says "I didn't see one" to which Mr. Holiday Spirit replies "Piss Off". Following this pleasant exchange, Mr. Holiday Spirit begins to frantically wave his tin of whatever over the scanner. After numerous frantic passed over the scanner, he marches over to the cashier inquiring why his item isn't scanning. The young boy indicates that he needs to scan it with the barcode facing down. As Mr. Holiday Spirit makes his way back to the check out B mumbles "At least know how to use it", at which point Mr. Holiday Spirit turns around and kicks our Christmas tree. Of course everyone turns to stare, and the guy continues to struggle with paying for his item. As another self check out opens up, we head over and begin the process of paying for our tree. While removing my receipt from the machine, Mr. Holiday Spirit storms by and out of the store carrying his one simple tin that took him 15 minutes to pay for!

After a good laugh and a joke with one of the Home Depot employees, we headed a couple storefronts down to Wal-Mart in search of LED lights, only to discover they had next to nothing! Defeated, we decided to call it a night and headed home, lightless.

Tuesday evening, B arrived home from work with a box of LEDs from RONA, which it turned out to be too short to cover our whole tree. This of course led to a close to two hour trek around our neck of the woods in search of the closest RONA to find lights that matched. Upon our return home we plugged in our lights only to find out that the two sets of "warm white" lights did not match. Again, we sat defeated, staring at the mismatched lights on our still undecorated tree.

Finally by last night, we had two boxes of "warm white" lights (that MATCHED!) and were able to get our ornaments up (mainly my labour as B has been feeling pretty ill). Sitting back and looking at our very first Christmas tree, it's nothing exciting, but it's our first year and we're on a budget - so I'm pleased with the outcome. I figure, if nothing else, we'll always be able to look back on our first Christmas and fondly remember the adventure that was buying and decorating our very first Christmas tree together.


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