A couple of years ago, I discovered that, if one waits until late in the month, Lowe's will have their remaining cut Christmas trees on sale for half off. Their trees aren't that expensive to begin with, and cheap is one price that appeals to me greatly.
So, for the last two years, we have gotten a tree - admittedly, a pretty ugly tree, but hey, that really doesn't matter once it's decorated - for around $10-$15 at Lowe's. I don't mind waiting, anyway, because I don't do the decorating in the first place - my 22-year old does, and he doesn't get home from college until around the 15th. And we do do Advent, which I have come to appreciate more and more through the years, and which makes Christmas even more special when it comes.
So that was the plan again this year. However, this year, it seems I waited just a little too long. Yesterday (the 21st) we headed out to Lowe's, only to find that they were totally out of trees other than the artificial kind. We are a 'real tree' kind of family, so that wasn't going to cut it. We tried two nurseries, but all they had were live trees in large pots. I would have been OK with that, and we did get a live tree one year (it lives on in our back yard), but the nurseries wanted over
$100 for tiny little trees, and that is not within budget. All the freestanding tents full of cut trees were also sold out/closed.
My poor son, who really, really cares about such things, far more than I do - because that isn't really what Christmas is or should be all about - was in despair. "Be not afraid," I said to him. (Well, not really, but I wish I had said that.)
Thinking creatively outside the box, I sent him to the Internet and told him to search on Christmas tree farms. The first two he found had both closed on the 16th. How completely unfair of them! However, the third one was a WINNER. They cheerfully advertised that they are open every day right up until Christmas eve. Definitely folks after my own heart. The fact that their farm is over an hour away was not a deterrent. We mounted our trusty steed, er, car, and headed out.
We reached their very nice tree farm, grabbed a wagon, and started looking. Some spirited disagreements about the relative virtues of various trees ensued. After about another hour, we managed to agree on an acceptable tree, ruthlessly sawed it down, stuffed it into the back of our car, and headed home. Damage done - $30. Not my usual super-duper deal, but an acceptable price.
So, after some hard work by my wonderful son, here is the result:
And here are my amazingly fantastic children: