O Christmas Tree!

American Christmas Tree
Image via Wikipedia

I came to the unfortunate conclusion this year that I had to get an artificial Christmas tree. This was a terribly hard decision for me. I have always, and I do mean always, had a real tree. In fact, most often we go to the Christmas tree farm and choose and cut down our own tree each year. Princess Girl and I often went with my parents and sisters. It was a family affair. There were jokes and singing and general merriment. For the last couple of years our timing was off and we did not go with my extended family. This made our Christmas tree task a little harder. That left only Princess Girl to help me carry the tree from the back forty of the tree farm. That left only Princess Girl and I to get the tree into the stand. Straight. And sturdy. Not an easy task for a thirty-something women and a 98 pound Peanut. But we managed.

This year was different. This year, Princess Girl’s toes were poking out, naked, from the orthopedic waking boot. She was NOT going to be able to trek through the forest and help with tree retrieval. I knew I could not do it myself. If we were going to have a tree, and we WERE, it would have to be artificial so I could do it myself.

And so the hunt began. I refused to have a tree I could see through. No Charlie Brown Christmas for us. (Although I do think the ones they are marketing as true Charlie Brown trees, with one branch and one ornament are adorable.) If I had to have a fake tree, at least it could LOOK real. I found a beautiful tree at Sears on Black Friday. Of course they were out of stock, could not be ordered, and the substitution tree was out of stock too.

This did not bode well for my tree hunting.

I spent the next two days searching high and low for the perfect tree. I researched tip counts and light counts. I debated pre-lit or not pre-lit. I visited every store in a 50 mile radius that might possibly sell Christmas trees. Do you know what I found? I found that most of them are crap.

Seriously. Well, either that or over $1000.00.

No, I am not kidding. But finally, finally I found one I liked. One that was in my price range (after calculating the life expectancy of the tree against the annual cost of a real tree). One that looked REAL. Of course they were sold out and not going to get any in before Christmas.

This tree happened to be one that had been lovingly decorated by the store staff. There was a price tag on the tree stating you could buy the tree with all the decorations for an additional $300 dollars (on sale). I did not want the decorations. I only wanted the tree. Would you sell me the just the tree? “Sorry, we don’t do that. And the Davenport store won’t either.”

Yeah, well Merry Christmas to you too.

So I went to the customer service desk. I asked them if I could buy a floor model sans decorations. They called the manager of the trees and asked him. They sent me back to that area of the store to discuss it. As I approach I hear Susie Helper-ton saying she already TOLD me she would not do it. Yeah, lady, I know. That doesn’t mean I can’t ask for a second opinion.

No dice.

In the car, as I wracked my brain trying to think of any other stores that might sell trees, I used Google Maps to find all the locations of that particular store in a 75 mile radius. I wanted that tree. If I had to drive to Sterling or Muscatine I was going to do it. But first I called Davenport. The store only 10 minutes away. I asked to speak with the manager and told him my story. He listened politely then told me his phone system was on the fritz and he could not keep me on the line while he went back to the trees to check out the situation. He promised to call me right back.

Less than five minutes later he did. Wouldn’t you know they had just gotten a shipment in that had TWO of that specific tree? He already had my name on one of them and I could pick it up any time. With in 20 minutes that puppy was loaded in my car. Holy cow was that a big box. Good thing I didn’t have to turn left very many times on the way home.

It is a lovely tree. It is full and natural looking. Both Princess Girl and Cande thought it WAS real when they first saw it. It even has enough tips to hold all our ornaments.

Of course the saga doesn’t end there. This past Monday after work, I plugged in the lights on the tree and nothing happened. I plugged them into another outlet. Nothing. I plugged something else into that outlet. The outlet worked. So then I spent the next 45 minutes searching through the tree to find all the connectors. Thank goodness it was only one bad strand. Too bad it was the FIRST, inside strand. I have by-passed it for now and we are re-lit.

There are even wrapped presents under there now!

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Candejo said,

    Seriously, it DOES look real! LOL I couldn’t believe it when I figured out it wasn’t…you’ve NEVER had anything but real. But this is the cat’s meow perfection (well, hopefully the cats don’t like it…too much…rofl). I had no idea you went through all this to get it.


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