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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Christmas Tree Dilemma

On our quest to be debt free we have found ourselves tip-toeing closer and closer to that question that every sane person secretly ponders on Christmas: "Can we really justify spending *insert insane amount of money here* on a tree that's just going to sit in our living room for a few weeks only to be tossed out?"

Last year we went with friends to Bethlehem's Rocks Estate tree farm and bought a beautiful tree for a rather pretty penny, even with a local resident discount. This year I couldn't justify the expense, but at the same time I couldn't go without having a tree.

So I came up with the brilliant plan to walk around our four tiny acres and find a tree absolutely free. A romantic walk through the snowy woods with my husband sounded like fun. And a free Christmas tree? Even better!

Four minutes into our walk we were assaulted by the incessant barking of our neighbor's dog. It came bounding toward us through the woods, stopped about twenty feet away and barked. And barked. And barked. And barked. It followed us, and barked some more. Sigh. After a few minutes of "See any good trees?" "Bark!" "What?" "Bark!" "I said..." "Bark!" "...any..." "Bark!" "...trees?" we realized we weren't going to find any nicely shaped, full-looking Christmas trees that weren't 50-feet tall. So we... "Bark!" ...to... "Bark!" ...home.

Happily, the previous owners of our property had begun to plant about four or five Christmas trees along the fence. Unfortunately no one had given the trees any lovin' over the past few years; they were surrounded by brambly bushes and were quite sparse and misshapen. They were better than the infamous Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but not by much.

Jake took out the saw and cut one down.

As we set up our tree in the living room and started decorating it, I expected the full majesty of the tree to come into being. I figured we'd just fill in the gaps with ornaments, shape the branches with clippers, and pile enough garland and lights on to make it look outstanding. After about ten minutes I realized this was not going to happen. I wanted to say, "Forget it! Let's just go buy one. What are our friends going to think when they see this tree?"

But the more I thought about it, the more I fought the urge to give up and give in. It wasn't just because I didn't want to spend the money, but because I didn't want to be part of the rat race we call the "American Dream," always concerned with what the Jones' think of our house, or with what the Smith's have and we don't. I want to be more concerned with enjoying life with my fabulous husband, making memories that we will fondly look back on as we pave the way for a fun future with kiddos (who are currently just imaginary).

It took a couple of days, but now I look at our crazy cylinder-shaped Christmas tree with its sparse boughs and uneven branches, and I love it! I love it because Jake and I hunted it down together, and we had fun laughing at ourselves as we put it up. I love it because we did what we thought was best for us at this time in our lives. I have every intention of purchasing a beautiful tree again some day, but for this year I'm not going to concern myself with what anyone else thinks of me. I'm just going to love what I have and I'm going to love our crazy tree!

Keep pinchin' :-)
The romantic walk through snowy woods

Looking for our Christmas tree

Jake cuts down our Christmas tree

Dragging home our Christmas tree

Our glorious Christmas tree

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