We, on the other hand, have gone with the standard artificial variety this year. It bears some discussion each year — I really prefer to have a real tree, but at the prices they’re starting to command it seems less and less sane. A bargain can still be had, but we tend to average every other year between the real and the fake tree. Our artificial tree is only 5′, but since the “right” height for a tree is when you have to trim the top a little so that you can get the angel onto it without hitting the ceiling, so we always put the tree up on a box to make it taller — I can’t stand for the tree not to reach near the ceiling. ;^)
Our artificial tree is one we picked up on the day after Christmas the first year we were married. We had no money but it was a good deal. Each year there appears more and more ornaments on it chronicling our Christmases together, the new ones that appear tending to come from Ten Thousand Villages or from places reflecting some travel destination. Our first Christmas we were pretty broke and decorated with some cheap ornaments, even a few little plastic toys like you used to get in a Happy Meal™ — we also have several little plastic apple cores, each about a half-inch tall and made to look like they’d been nibbled away by mice. Most of our ornaments of that type and vintage are gone, but I always put up a few or the remaining ones from that time as a small reminder that God continues to care for our daily needs, and that Christmas doesn’t need to be filled with grand expenses.
I tried to resist the whole mini-light trend that lasted for years — I confess that I like the 3-watt bulbs the best. I know they aren’t energy efficient and will eventually give in to LEDs which look much better than the mini-lights, but these are the kind of bulbs that we always had on the tree growing up… and they were the kind my grandmother had. Except hers all went off when one of them burnt out. I had a string like that far longer than I should have as well! There were blinking lights and flickering lights and bubble lights… and a few oversize frosted bulbs.
Good Christmas memories… what holiday decorating traditions do you have?