Life in America

A Real Christmas Tree

For our first Christmas together, me and my husband happily decided to have a “real Christmas tree”. That means, I have to wait after Thanksgiving to decorate the house which I normally do every September when I was still in the Philippines.

Filipinos have the longest Christmas season in the world. In fact, we take the Christmas season so seriously that when the month starts ending at “-ber”. It only means it’s finally Christmas! You’re starting to get busy with the decorating, you can hear the Christmas songs in offices, schools and esp. in the malls. The countdown starts… the morning and evening news television shows will remind you exactly of that.Funnily enough, here in the US.. the Christmas season starts officially only after Thanksgiving (every last Thursday of November). My husband even said that it even starts at midnight of the Black Friday Sale. That maybe explains why there is a sale I guess.. everyone is dying to start buying for Christmas gifts to their loved ones and who doesn’t love good deals? (Any reason to shop is a good reason.. right?) Anyway, the Cyber Monday is also a great way to shop for gifts. It’s the online version and I had my fair share of it. I bought a lot actually from Amazon. Isn’t it fun giving gifts to our favorite people? I know I do!

So here we are, 2 days after Thanksgiving. We went to Home Depot and look for “The One”. Our perfect real Christmas tree. You can see their samples and corresponding prices at the front of the store. Effective marketing I must say because it makes you buy them plus they are that stunning. I know… what an odd way to call trees that way but they are deserving.. period.

These are the “farm and really well taken care of” trees. From the start, their only life purpose is to become a Christmas tree. Don’t ask me what happens to others who didn’t turn out alright or “market worthy trees” because I think you got the idea. It makes me feel bad too. Now, I can totally relate to the feelings of Phoebe Buffay in “Friends”. So her friends bought all the “ugly ones” so that they won’t be shred in the Christmas tree farm. Yes, you heard me right.. SHRED and I am trying to be subtle here. So anyways, they surprised her by placing them in the apartment. Such a touchy feely moment and I just get her sometimes..

So we chose the Fraser Fir variety with a size of 9-10 feet. The second tallest in the the selection. I kept bombarding my husband with questions about these trees. Apparently, a Fraser Fir is just one of the varieties under the Evergreen tree. The others includes Cedar (which has thorns but has a really great smell), a spruce, the famous pine tree and a fir. The Christmas tree could be one of them.

The Evergreen became the favorite tree of Christmas because of two reasons. First, it’s the only tree that retains its green color while the others hibernates in winter. Second, it gives off this very “Christmasy” scent. I mean come on, I have never smelled this scent before but I swear the scent was so weirdly familiar and I just know it’s the Christmas scent. Even my husband find it weird how I did that. Lol. There are just things you can’t explain. Oh and I must add, the Evergreen also has the perfect shape, the whole anatomy of this tree just screams Christmas. The branches are like perfectly designed to accommodate the Christmas balls and especially its head, everything just complements! You can put either an angel or the Filipino’s favorite: a star.

The next day, I have become so busy. It’s time to decorate the house and of course dress up the Christmas tree. It was such a tiring day but my sweat and aching legs (from going up and down the stairs) is worth it. Al though, I definitely could do with some height. Not that I’m complaining.. I’ll Β just use the height of my husband next time.

See, how tall it is! I have to run those stairs and did some major reaching. Hopefully I will get gorgeous legs in return and I am pushing my luck here maybe leaner arms.. lol.

Should also include here that having crystal or glass Christmas balls is an utterly bad idea. Yes, they are fancy (pretty expensive too) and pretty. I can’t deny that but Christmas balls are fond of falling from the tree lol. So excuse me when I show the picture of a broken Christmas ball. My husband warned me to be extra careful with them. I did but it didn’t work unfortunately.

It has a written Christmas tradition of Germany in it. It was so lovely. Well, I decided to just store all the breakables because I’m not gonna risk it again. Most of these fancy Christmas balls were gifts to my husband or came from his grandparents. They are really special to him.

Lastly, it’s a real Christmas tree for a reason because you have to take care of it. It will not be green forever because it’s a cut tree but at least watering it everyday will help it live longer. So like they said, enjoy it while it lasts.

It’s the reason why the real Christmas trees can only be bought later especially around Thanksgiving to give it to live or survive and stay green especially around Christmas and maybe can lasts depending until January or February. The sign that it’s dying is when it starts to drop a lot of needles from the branches. So the downside is, you have a living Christmas tree and also a dying one later.

I think that’s the beauty of it right? I am just really happy that I get to experience having a real Christmas tree. It’s a big shift from having a fake Christmas tree for years or all my life. So decorating a living one gave me a total different experience. It’s telling me to enjoy every moment, to live in the present. The farmed Christmas trees as we know have very short lives but they lived wonderfully and died realizing their life purpose that is to give us joy especially to the young children, add warmth in our homes and especially fire up the Christmas spirit of the people witnessing its beauty and charm.

Oh, and there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas tree. Like Charlie Brown, every tree can be “The One”. Any size, color, if its fake or real, it shouldn’t matter.. as long as the families are with each other. I believe, true essence of Christmas is the celebration of life of our Savior Jesus Christ and of course our love to each other. The tree should just be a mere symbol and nothing else.

So a Christmas tree wouldn’t be complete without the beloved presents. My husband was the first one to place his gifts for me.. all for the world to see (actually just for me). It’s his way of teasing me, he knows how much I get so excited every time I know there is a gift waiting for me to open or better yet unlock hahaha. He is so convinced I can’t wait to open them for Christmas. He even warned me that he will know if I peek in his gifts and if I did he will return them. Lol. PLAIN SILLY. Huh, I’m not that impatient..

Well, I have my pay back time.. the boxes arrived and it’s my time to wrap my gifts for him and my in-laws. Ranger got so curious of what I was doing so to consume or express his excitement he chewed the wrapping paper lol. Good thing, I caught him before it was too late!

So here it is, the gifts in all its splendid glory. I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO OPEN THEM! See, definitely not impatient.

Time to cook Sinigang.. that’s it for now comrades! Have your own very real Christmas tree! (even if its fake.. it doesn’t really matter, remember!) It’s the thought that counts.. as always.

-Anna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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