It’s December, which means I can talk about Christmas without feeling like I am giving the shaft to Thanksgiving or even Halloween (Retailers next hostile holiday takeover to extend the “shopping season”).
I didn’t really feel like writing about Black Friday or Cyber Monday, didn’t think you would want to hear a short story called “Mr. AE buys a pair of ice fishing bibs 55% off”. It wasn’t even that exciting for me.
Instead, I am going to strap on my Scrooge McDucky face and take some shots at a Christmas staple:
The Christmas Tree
I don’t really get into decorations. It seems weird to me to drag a bunch of clutter out of the basement for 30 days then pack it back up and put it back down there. And yes I am aware that I sound like a real treat around the holidays.
Every year, Mrs. AE asks when we are going to go pick up our family tree and after a few minutes of informal protest, we decide on a day to go to closest place possible and find a tree on the cheaper end of the scale.
This year, I decided to make a more formal protest. A.K.A. Find a compromise that doesn’t ruin Mrs. AE’s festive spirit.
I should also point out that Fake trees are not an option, the cheap ones look like crap and the nicer looking ones are expensive. Plus, I worked at a place that sold them and know they break after a few years. Half of our display trees were held together with screws and the top would fall off if anyone bumped into it.
Going Hippie on “Real” Christmas Trees
My points are a mix of not understanding the concept, killing something for next to no reason and pure stubbornness.
- They are “Real” but are also “REALLY EFFING DEAD”
- Paying $30-70 every year for a thing to shade my gifts seems silly (average price is $51)
- They take up to 15 years to grow and are cut down so we can cover them with plastic glitter* bulbs
- 25-30 Million are cut and sold every year, which is mind-blowing and more than a little sad
As they decay, they drop what seems like 4.7 million needles that somehow spread through the entire house. Our dog unknowingly wags his tail into the branches and I just sit and watch them fly. DJ Roomba is my hero and I don’t want him clogged.
*Glitter is the herpes of Arts and Craft supplies – Demetri Martin
I do like the short fireball they create in a bonfire the following summer, but I can think of other ways to replicate that if I have the itch.
Creating a New Tradition
I saw a business on Shark Tank a while ago that brings a live Christmas Tree to your house every year, then picks it back up after the holiday. I love it, but there is no such company in MN and I wouldn’t want to pay the fairly high price anyway. So we decided we would do it ourselves.
Say hello to my new beauties!
I bought 3 Real, REAL trees for $21.13 shipped directly to our house. So for half the cost of ONE dead, needle-shedding, future fireball I got three little cute ones.
It works out nicely with our daughter about to experience her first Christmas, we can watch her grow right alongside the tree and decorate with her yearly ornament. We might have to start with a light one this year though.
Growing the trees
As I said earlier, I got three of them just in case we have a dud, but my friend Ty from GetRichQuickish can attest to my tree growing skills:
My plan right now is to keep them inside until spring then transfer them into some bigger pots and let them toughen up outside. Will keep them right by the garden so I don’t need to water them separately.
As long as Mrs. AE stays away from them, we should be ok. I haven’t confirmed this yet but I am fairly certain she salts the water before giving it to the plants.
When I am done with this little experiment, I have a few ideas what we can do with them:
- Give them to our kid(s) and have them plant them in their own yard when they move out
- Plant them in our own yard
- Pull out the saw and sell them to some chump for $75
What do you think of my plan?