This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gallo Family Vineyards. All opinions are 100% mine.
Growing up, our Christmas tree came out of the attic. My mom kept it in a dusty old box, and I remember the chore I thought it was to put it together. Not to mention the joys of crawling up into the attic to get it. It was the late 1970’s, and I think the tree probably was bought around 1745. The end of each branch had a colored dot on it that corresponded to a similarly colored dot on the tree trunk. Half of the time the branches didn’t really fit in the trunk and if they did they stuck out at odd angles. But it was our tree, and it helped define and shape how much I cherish Christmas and the memories that come along with it.
When I met my husband, I quickly learned that he had his own family traditions that revolved around putting up the Christmas tree only they involved getting a real tree. I’d never had a real Christmas tree, so our first foray into the realm of shopping for a real tree as a couple was certainly memorable.
Shopping for a real tree involves slogging through the snow from tree lot to tree lot and shivering over a cup of hot chocolate while my husband shook and examined tree after tree. One was too small. Another too big. Another had already lost too many needles. Another had a big bare spot. We passed by many a Charlie Brown tree until we found just the right tree. Although by that point I would have been satisfied with a cactus.
Over the years I’ve begun to cherish our adventures getting our own tree. We’ve even gone so far as to visit a tree farm and cut down a tree – don’t worry, we had permission. That was quite the experience right down to the decaying animal bones nearby.
But it’s not all glitz and glamour. The process of getting an actual, real tree inside of your house comes with some challenges.
First of all, you have to remember that you are bringing a tree into your home. A tree that lived outside. In the winter.
Even if they wrapped the tree up for you, you still need to be prepared for it to leave a mark and a whole lot of needles. Make sure you don’t put the trunk down on the carpet. Tree sap does not come out of carpet very easily. We had a trunk sized ring on the floor for years before it finally washed off.
One of the hardest chores involved in a real tree is getting it into the stand and making sure the tree is straight. First, you need to make sure your stand is big enough. If it’s not, the tree will tip. Ask me how I know, go ahead, ask. Tim-ber!
Setting up a real tree is an all day affair. This year we had to let the snow melt off it before we opened it up so that we didn’t end up with puddles all over the carpet. In the meantime, we started to get the lights ready, and we pulled the ornament boxes out. It’s a chaotic time, but it’s also nice to queue up the Christmas music and just enjoy the time together as a family.
We don’t cook on the day we set up the tree. We order a pizza when it’s all done because there is not a surface left uncovered with ornament boxes and other decorations. I always wonder who will be putting them all away but somehow the answer is always me. This is the perfect occasion for a Chardonnay from Gallo Family Vineyard Wines. The Chardonnay is rich and fruity with just the right amount of sweetness. Gallo was created by an American Family for American Families 80+ years ago so they understand how people can cherish crazy and chaotic family traditions.
Like bringing an actual tree into their living room.
As the tree opens up, we begin to put the lights on the tree. This involves my following my husband around holding a big bunch of lights while he strings them around the tree.
It also involves me getting tangled in the lights because I find it hysterical. My husband does not. But I don’t have a problem laughing alone. And getting myself untangled alone.
I, however, don’t find any humor in the needles that fall on the carpet after stringing the lights.
Thankfully I have a vacuum that makes quick work of the needles. And they make the vacuum smell nice too. Except for last year when my vacuum broke mid-cleanup. My kids weren’t thrilled about picking them up with their hands.
After we string the lights, we all dig out our favorite ornaments and begin hanging them on the tree. Each ornament is sentimental and has so many memories tied to it.
We always hang the ornaments by the lights of the tree while watching a holiday movie.
There really is nothing like having a 10′ real, live Christmas tree in your living room. And for every tree we buy, they plant three more.
Now, who is putting the ornament boxes away? Funny how fast the room clears out when I ask that question. I guess I’ll pour another glass of wine and procrastinate a little bit longer.
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