Well, today was the day– we went out and got our tree. For the last two years, we have opted for an authentic, cut tree. We’ve decided not to use articficial trees for a few reasons– artificial trees are often made of PVC and other harmful plastics, the production of which really harms the environment. They also offgas significantly indoors. And, cut trees are an agricultural crop– we never purchase a tree that was cut from the wild. I don’t really think you can find wild-cut Christmas trees anymore, at least not reputably. So we buy a farm-raised tree with a clear conscience about our environmental impact; once our tree has been harvested, another crop is planted in it’s place, and so the cycle continues.
So this morning after brunch we walked over to our local garden center and perused the two tree lots they had set up. Wow, was it difficult to choose! You can’t go home with just any old Christmas tree– it has to speak to you. Some were too bushy, to many bald spots, the trunk was crooked, the needles were dry. And then we saw it– a lush, six-foot Balsam Fir with an incredibly enticing scent. As Christmas tree connoisseurs know, the Balsam Fir is the king of Christmas trees– extraordinarily-scented bright green needles that stay bushy and beautiful the whole month of December, they’re relatively light weight for their size and have that classic Christmas tree look and shape. They also usually come with a hefty price tag– but luck was with us today! We took home our dream Christmas tree for a mere $55– an absolute steal in the middle of Chicago with nary a tree farm in sight.
Once paid for and netted, my husband lifted the trunk and I took the top and we carried it between us on foot the twelve blocks home. It wasn’t nearly as heavy to carry as the Scotch Pine we toted home last year. We got some odd looks during our trek, but we got some well wishes shouted from passing motorists as well– “Enjoy your tree!”
Once home and the tree was safely in it’s stand with a massive supply of aspirin-laced water, we put on the Peanuts Christmas album and went to work trimming the tree and decorating the house. My husband spent almost thirty minutes getting the colored lights strands on just right, and then we decked the tree out with our vintage globe and handblown ornaments that we recieved as wedding gifts and purchased last year. It turned out quite nice. We rounded out the holiday decorating by hanging our jingle bell candy cane on the door, setting up our growing collection of nutcrackers and dispersing the rest of the holiday tchotchkes around the apartment. Then, before my ambition waned, I actually made out our holiday cards! So all in all, it was a pretty nice day, and the holiday season has definitely arrived at the Apartment Farm.