I love the holidays. I’m a big fan of decorating for Christmas. My Christmas tree is especially dear to me. For decades I’ve been buying one ornament each year that truly symbolizes something that I did that year. For example, in 2003 I added a Nittany Lion ornament because that’s the year I started working at Penn State. Decorating my tree is like taking many different trips down memory lane. It fills me with joy.
When I was a young child my family used to go out together and chop down a tree to decorate our home. But as time passed and life grew more complex, my parents bought an artificial tree. It still provided the joy of decoration, but lacked the magical odor and texture of a real tree. I swore that when I grew up, I would have a real tree in my home.
But life doesn’t always go the way we plan. I lived in a series of small apartments that didn’t allow for real trees. Then when I finally bought my own house, I didn’t have anyone to help me with a real tree (and I just wasn’t up to the challenge of setting up a real tree without assistance). So I’ve had a few smaller artificial trees over the years. About five years ago, I accepted my fate and bought a really nice 6 ½ foot pre-lit artificial tree.
Now, finally, feeling that I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of my nice artificial tree and knowing that I have assistance for setting it up, I think I’m in a place where I’m ready to move to the world of the real tree. So next year, I’m getting a real tree.
Why not this year? Well…I could do it this year. But I lack infrastructure. A real tree requires a stand. And lights. And frankly, I’m just not willing to pay pre-Christmas prices for these things. The single best day to purchase holiday items at a low price is December 26. I’ve been doing this for years with my holiday cards and wrapping paper. I go out to the stores the morning after Christmas and all of the holiday items are half price. It’s a fabulous time to stock up on those holiday items I use every year. Cookie cutters. Holiday decorations. Gift bags. Bows and gift tags. And this year my mission will be a tree stand and several strings of LED lights. I’ll buy them at half price on December 26. I’ll put them away with the rest of my Christmas items. And next year I’ll be all set for my first real Christmas tree in decades.
Sure…I would have loved to have a real tree this year. But the money I’ll save will make the wait worthwhile.