I had grand dreams of decking out our apartment in Christmas decor and starting a tradition of picking out a real Christmas tree together. When we learned that our Wymount apartment didn't allow real Christmas trees though we found ourselves at Walmart, wandering the aisles of fake Christmas trees. I told Aaron that I would give in to the fake tree that year only if he promised me that the first year we could buy a real Christmas tree that we would. I didn't want to be a fake Christmas tree family forever because of a Wymount policy. The fake tree turned out fine though and was surprisingly convenient to put up and take down. I can definitely see the perks of the fake tree route but I just missed my family tradition of picking out our tree each year in the midst twinkling Christmas lights. It just seemed like such a fun Christmas bonding activity.
Fast forward to Christmas 2012 when I was in the midst of my first semester of teaching and was just barely surviving. I didn't have enough energy to make us a normal meal, let alone time to go and pick out a tree. I gave into the fake tree a second year (even though by now we had moved apartments) purely because I was desperate for a touch of Christmas without giving up any of my spare time, which I needed for grading papers and preparing lessons.
Then came 2013. I was 9 months pregnant, exhausted, trying to substitute teach and set up Eleanor's nursery. I was wanting to spend any spare money on Christmas presents and baby prep and it just seemed so easy to pull out that fake Christmas tree again.
So I was determined to dub Christmas 2014 "THE YEAR OF THE REAL CHRISTMAS TREE!" We are finally in a house (still renting but real trees are ok), it was Eleanor's first Christmas and I finally felt like I had the energy (aka not teaching or pregnant) to make it happen. I was ecstatic, especially since we had so much fun helping my parents pick out their tree after Thanksgiving. Despite the 70 degree Fresno weather, we dressed up in scarves, beanies and sweaters just so we could feel wintery and we hit the local Christmas tree lot. We took it all very seriously and deliberated between two or three trees til Aaron made the final decision and we drove home with our very own real tree strapped to the top of our car. Of course we had a little family photo shoot before though :)
I think these next photos are so funny. Oh the struggles of getting Eleanor to look at a camera for a "selfie" and to smile while she's at it!
^^Trying the go-to tickle to get her to smile
So "the year of the real Christmas tree" was a total success and we are now official lifetime converts (or at least that's what I'm telling Aaron ;)).