My birthday was this past weekend and we have a holiday tradition that has developed over the years. We decorate the tree on my birthday and let the kids pull names for gift exchange. It ended up being a three day adventure this year.
Much fun was spent putting the tree together and straightening out the branches. We started using an artificial tree a few years back when we first moved to Virginia. We did real trees before we moved, we knew a landscaper in WV that would deliver and then pick up the cut tree after Christmas. We don't have that connection here, so we would have to work out delivery and disposal ourselves which brings us to the artificial tree. While I miss the smell and traditions of a real tree, a pre-lit artificial has some significant advantages. No stringing of lights, although you do have to put it together and straighten the branches. No removing the lights after, this has to be my least favorite job! While an artificial does shed some during the set up process, it is nothing like the pine needle and sap mess that comes with a real tree. Also no worry about watering an artificial. No pick-up and disposal or repeated expense of buying a new tree every year. We are five years in using the same tree and it costs about the same as a similar size and type real tree. So it can be a significant savings. Down side is you have to find somewhere to store it when not in use. Luckily we have plenty of storage space this in not an issue for us.
Here are my helpers. Our tree may not be the most elegantly decorated, but we have a lot of fun doing it. I unwrap the ornaments and the kids add them to the tree. I don't move them once they put them on the tree unless there are two on the same branch.
The best two presents I could find under my tree!
So, what about you, real or artificial? What other Christmas traditions do you enjoy at your house?