Real or Plastic?

In a lot of ways, this is my first “real” grown-up Christmas with the Dairy Man.

Last year we moved into our house a week before Christmas. For the next few weeks we could barely find our toothbrushes, much less decorate for the holidays. Our living room was a pile of piles and things were so chaotic and disorganized we almost forgot what time of the of year it was. Thankfully, a generous aunt and uncle let us borrow a fake tree from their attic and one of my mom’s coworkers donated a box of old ornaments. It wasn’t much, but this tree reminded us of Christmas, of family, of tradition.

I promise there’s a tree in there somewhere! And yes, we did nail sheets over our windows for a while.

Fast forward to this year. We’ve lived the farmhouse for almost 12 months and Christmas is just around the corner. We’ve painted, decorated, and put things away. The disorganized disaster we inhabited last December has become our home. Thus, it was time to get a tree.

The Dairy Man and I wrestled with a vital yuletide question newlyweds must ask themselves: are we real-tree-people or plastic-tree-people? Though we both like the idea of a real tree –the smell, the realistically green branches, the memories created whilst picking one out– we did not feel confident in our ability to …er… keep it alive. With the exception of the Dairy Man and Jersey the dog, I kill all living things I touch. I have neither the time nor the patience to remember to water things. Or, on the flip side, not to drown them. Our shrubs shrivel and our plants are plastic.

The Dairy Man isn’t much better. His horticultural successes are saved for the dairy. The corn thrives, but the hydrangeas suffer.

Clearly, the idea of chopping down a LIVE TREE and bringing it into our house gave us pause. My mind was nearly made up when I learned that you have to water the thing multiple times a day. Craziness. Though we loved the smell of pine and the idea of being real-tree-people, the reality was too cumbersome. Not to mention a fire hazard.

Someday we’ll have children. They’ll write Santa letters, craft ornaments out of popsicle sticks and glitter, and get a real tree. But that day is not today. This Christmas the Dairy Man and I welcomed a beautiful 7.5 foot fake Stanwick Pine into our lives and we’ve never been happier. I’ll admit we splurged a little to get the “real tree” look, but you can’t put a price on not having to crawl under a needle-riddled canopy with a watering can. It was worth every penny. And it’s gorgeous.

A handful of pine-scented candles takes care of the rest. Our house looks and smells like the holidays.

More than anything else, I feel thankful to be settled. After a few years of moving, moving, moving (from college house to parents’ house to apartment to our first house), I am finally home. When the Dairy Man and I sit on our couch and bask in the gentle glow of that realistic fake tree, we realize how far we’ve come.

Here’s to our first grown-up Christmas.

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