I'm finally getting around to trimming the tree, two weeks before Christmas. After last year's performance, things are looking up! But this year has been a first. It's the first time in my entire life that I haven't even stopped at a tree lot. This year, I went artificial (and pre-lit to preserve my husband's sanity). It wasn't planned, but I'm so happy with my experience that I thought I'd share.
A couple of years ago my son picked out a kitten to join our family. We love Miss Lucy, but she's an absolute nightmare around the Christmas tree. She shares the same level of persistence that my son has and after endless weeks of her trying to climb the trunk of the tree, I'm usually at my wit's end. I try locking her out of the living room, but since that's her domain, she's not at all happy about that solution. Then of course there's trying to eat the pine needles, also a big problem. I hadn't quite figured out what to do this year, but I admit that the thought of her was dampening my enthusiasm.
At any rate, I had the good fortune to try out a tree from Tree Classics. In my head, I sort of thought it would be a second tree, to dress up my dining room, not to replace the primary tree. I was also a little nervous about whether it would look fake, but hey, I had nothing to lose.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much artificial trees have changed, the better ones anyway. Specially molded branch tips look just like the real thing (and the branches that don't look real, but add fullness, are concentrated in the interior where they aren't obvious). My tree came in three parts, the branches released from hinges, and I was able to put the entire thing together without one bit of help from my husband. After the basic construction, I spent about an hour fluffing and shaping the wired branches to get the form and spacing I wanted (a perfectionist's dream!).
Miss Lucy immediately set out to investigate and spent a couple of days thinking about whether she could climb it, but she quickly became bored and has stayed safely below the branches in the weeks since. Yes, I notice there are a few loose pieces of yarn on pom-pom ornaments she's clearly been playing with, but that I can live with. Anyway, my husband and I agreed that it was perfect for our living room (I chose a narrow style so that I wouldn't have to move furniture around, which is also problematic for us each year) and we opted to forego the real tree.
So what about the smell of fresh pine that you inevitably miss with an articifial tree? I invested in fresh greenery for other parts of my house, along mantels, in vases, hanging on walls, and in bowls. I also purchased some essential oils in fir and holiday blends to put in my diffuser.
One other thing to mention, whether you go artificial or not, is a nifty little tool called the Light Keeper Pro. lt fixes most broken light sets, finding the damaged bulb for you and repairing it. I tried it on a string of broken lights I had from last year and it worked like a charm. It's the perfect tool to have around for a pre-lit tree that would be difficult to replace the light strands on.
Next up - handmade ornaments to make for any tree.
The slim silhouette of this tree is perfect for city apartments and smaller rooms, like I have. I wish I'd had this for my New York apartment!
See how realistic the branches look up close? I also decided to give my tree a dusting of snow. I love this artificial snow. You mist the tree with water, sprinkle on a little bit, and then it dries. What does eventually fall off is natural and non-toxic.