Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the story of our new tree

Once Upon A Time.....

I wanted a Christmas Tree.

Truth be told, I really do prefer a real "live" (well, once-was-alive) Christmas tree. My love of having a real tree in the house mostly has to do with the scent of the tree wafting about the room, but I'm also a little attached to the memories of the tradition of going to a lot somewhere and picking out a tree and getting it home (as I get older, I find myself less and less attached to that sentiment).

I have a real interesting relationship with Christmas. I was raised in a household where we celebrated both Christmas and Channukah, even though my dad was Jewish and my mom had converted to Judaism before they were married (although in the long run, it was discovered that my mother was Jewish all along, because her mother's mother was Jewish, and had only pretended not to be Jewish to escape the Nazis. Crazy, eh?). Anyhow, I've always felt more closely connected with the Jewish holidays, but throughout my pagan-esque 20's, as I had moved out on my own, and was establishing my own traditions and links to the holidays, I discovered I felt less and less connected to the commercial and religious aspects of the holidays. My holidays, for me, became more about celebrating seasons, and it has carried through to today.

Basically this means that what I am reallly am linked to, and what I have been celebrating for decades in my own way, is Winter. And that is why I love having a tree, especially the smell of a tree, in the house (what you will also find in my house this time of year is lots of Christmas music from the 50's and 60's, smells of holiday foods, and many decorations relating to snow).

Here we are, with the new house this year, and this gorgeous vintage-y looking living room with a fireplace, and....

...I don't know about you, but I think the room just begs for a tree in that window next to the fireplace there, which also happens to face the street.

But now I'm older. And I'm busier. And I don't like killing trees so much. And even less, I like dealing with disposing of them. And I'm not living at this house full time yet, which means watering would be a pain. And I get really sick of cleaning up needles. And who needs a fire hazard anyhow.

So I started looking for a fake tree. A pre-lit tree, at that (whee! even more old and busy, am I!).

I found a couple I liked, and that was right around the time that we were given the estimate of what it is going to cost us to remodel the kitchen and bathroom here next spring, which kinda makes my stomach flip a little bit, and it also makes me see every $100 purchase as, "Wait. That's one-fifth of a dishwasher." I decided we would not have a tree this year (*pout*) but that on December 26th, I would go out early in the morn' and snatch up a tree at 50% off and store it for next year (what I did do this year though, was go to Hallmark and buy a "2011 -- New House" ornament, which we stuck on the mantle of the fireplace).

I saw the tree I wanted. It was at Target, and it was $230. There are 5 Targets on highway 80 down a 30 minute trail from here to Berkeley, and I was determined to hit them all until I got the tree I coveted. We got to the first Target only to find that their holiday section had been completely revamped, and that they had removed every single tree and large lawn decoration. In fact, I saw lights and things in that holiday section that I will swear on my grave had not even been set out as regular stock just a few days earlier. It was very odd. Well anyhow, we bought an on sale storage bag to store the fake tree that we didn't even have yet, and we bought some icicle lights so that next year the house can look a little gingerbread-ish, since the hooks for the lights are already in place anyhow.....

...and then, after finding out that all Targets had pulled their trees, we headed on over to K-Mart.

I don't even know the last time I have been in a K-Mart, but I swear to you, K-Mart smells like a K-mart in a way no other store can, and it totally blew my mind that some things like a particular smell never do change, and it made me realize that if I am going to get a fake tree, I should probably also invest in some pine scented candles or something.

So at K-Mart, we found a tree we liked.

It wasn't as great the Target tree, but it would do. It's 7.5 feet tall, with white lights, and it had originally been $229, but was now marked down by 50%. Woot! When we moved from the display section to the stack of boxed trees ready for sale, we found that the tree we wanted was only available still with colored lights, and we wanted clear. But the display model had white lights. So we asked Mike, TheDudeOfTheHomeAndGardenDepartment, if we could buy the display model. He said yes, and it would even be another 20% off. WootWoot! Our lovely little display model, however, was fully (and I do mean fully) decorated. He would arrange to have someone take it apart and they would call me to pick it up that night or the next day.

I went back to the store the next morning to pick up the tree, and MikeTheDude rolled out a shopping cart containing the tree and huge box. I asked him if it was the stand that was inside the box, and he said, "No. That's all your ornaments, and the garlands, plus the tree skirt. That's how we roll around here." WootWootWoot!!

So for $100, including tax, we scored our tree, the skirt, and an a$$load of (very nice, actually) ornaments.

AND, if you total up the tree and the ornaments, this means we saved about two-thirds a dishwasher :-)

The End.


Linda said...

From start to finish, this is a memorably inspiring post; thank you!

~Donna~ said...

What an epic shopping victory.