Holiday & Seasonal Projects, Holidays

Oh Christmas Tree . . . saga {Part 1}

Today I’d like share a handy little how-to on putting up a Christmas tree, Borrowed Abode style.  And yes, you read that right.  This is only part one.  Uh-oh.

  1. Go merrily road-tripping to a small Christmas tree farm, in an attempt to support local farmers.
  2. After several weird turns, including one where the GPS wants you to go the wrong way down a dirt road marked “Private: Do not enter,” arrive at the farm.
  3. Discover that neither you nor your boyfriend has enough cash for a tree.  Leave and find an ATM.  Retrieve cash.  {Probably} pay hefty ATM fee.
  4. Return to farm.
  5. In exchange for losing all sensations of warmth in the extremities, find the perfect tree.
  6. Take photos for Christmas card.
  7. Watch your boyfriend cut tree down and tie it to car.  Help where you can.
  8. Get tree home safely.
  9. Put tree outside for a day – because the boyfriend says to.  Put tree in metal bucket of water to keep it “fresh.”
  10. The next night, plan to spend a romantic evening with the boyfriend, putting up the tree and decorating it.
  11. Move the furniture around in the living room for an hour, trying to find the right way to make the tree fit in the living room without looking wonky.
  12. Listen to your boyfriend mock your beautiful Christmas tablescape.
  13. Realize that the dining room has no furniture and is perfect for the tree.
  14. Frustrate your boyfriend: Move all living room furniture back to original locations.
  15. Send boyfriend outside to get the tree, where it has been lashed to the fence to keep it from falling out of bucket.
  16. At your boyfriend’s request, go out to back porch, where the tree is standing up in the bucket all by itself.  Can you guess why?
  17. Listen as your boyfriend reminds you that he said not to put it in water – BECAUSE IT WOULD FREEZE.
  18. Retrieve hairdryer.  Attempt to melt the ice and free the frozen tree.
  19. Lose sensation in extremities again.  Where did this cold snap come from, anyway?
  20. When hairdryer fails, stand back as your boyfriend swings at the bucket with a hammer.  Forget to take a photo for the blog.
  21. Once bucket is loosened, remove tree.  Attempt to melt remaining ice.
  22. Hold tree as your boyfriend attempts to saw off the bottom inch of the trunk, which will allow it to drink water.
  23. Realize that the whole sawing thing isn’t happening tonight, because between the frozen, icy trunk and all the sap, the saw can barely move.
  24. Haul tree inside after you realize it’s ok, the stump has been in ice and water since you cut it.
  25. Center tree in tree-stand.   Make hot cocoa, and decide as a team that that’s all you can handle for the night. 
  26. The next morning, wake up and realize the tree has been sitting without water for over 12 hours.  The rules are that after 3 hours without water it has to be cut again.  Sigh.  Decide to tackle it later.

You see, this is why this is only part 1.  As I type, it is Wednesday night.  We have decided to put it off more, until tomorrow.  We’re still worn out from last night’s ridiculousness.  This has got to be the most impossible attempt at Christmas tree decorating of all time.

UPDATE:  This morning I noticed that the ice chunks are still sitting on our porch, 36 hours later.  That’s seriously cold for December in Virginia.

What happened in Part 2? Read on.

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  • Reply Sunny's Life in Rehab at 8:54 am


    Ah, the holiday FAIL. Where would family stories be without them? This was hysterical!

  • Reply Jen at 10:02 am

    Thanks SO much for making me giggle this morning! I needed it. Your tree is a beauty, and will totally be worth all the trouble, I can tell!


  • Reply Jen at 10:48 am

    Hey Jane!

    I LOVE your tree…and this will totally make an awesome story for years to come. In the meantime, I guess you can “enjoy” the process. Hoping for better times for you two in Part 2 of this saga.

  • Reply Whitney at 11:38 am

    Lol! Oh man…what a journey! I’m really looking forward to the final decorated product 🙂 I’m sure it’s fab! And your tablescape rules, by the way.

  • Reply Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons at 12:51 pm

    Ohmygosh! too cute! LOVE that red coat on your and — what a great picture of you guys! perfecto!


  • Reply Robin at 4:26 pm

    Oh my goodness Jane! This made me laugh so hard. I can’t wait to hear what you and Ryan are up to with this tree! 🙂

  • Reply Katie @ Making This Home at 10:51 pm

    Huge applause for you trying to support a local guy. My dad and I were joking about how the tree stands at Walmarts are probably not only factory trees… but from China.

    Looking forward to Part 2. Your red coat is awesome!

  • Reply Oh Christmas Tree . . .{Part 2} | The Borrowed Abode at 8:34 am

    […] Decor Advice « Oh Christmas Tree . . . saga {Part 1} […]

  • Reply Abby @ a delightful design at 9:48 am

    Ugh…bummer! The good news is that you got a GREAT shot for the Christmas cards!!

  • Reply Kate at 11:20 am

    Winter has been ridiculously cold here! I’m already ready for May …

  • Reply Julie at 11:51 am

    That sounds like my life! LOL!

    Yes, love the red coat! CUTE PICTURE!!!

  • Reply Oh Christmas Tree . . . {Part 3} | The Borrowed Abode at 4:44 pm

    […] had no idea there would be so many parts to the saga of the Christmas […]

  • Reply tschitschi at 8:35 am

    what a wonderful thing the internet is – to be able to follow the process of acquiring a Christmas tree without doing it yourself 🙂

  • Reply Cheap, Easy Candle DIY Project & Christmas Wrap-Up | The Borrowed Abode at 9:44 am

    […] pass on doing the holiday video tour of the house – you’ve seen the projects, from parts one, two, three, and four of the Christmas Tree Disaster of 2010, to the cute Yarn Trees vignette to my […]

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