Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Tree Redux by Sara Humphreys

I am an early bird with the Christmas decorations because I thoroughly enjoy the holiday season and want it to last as long as possible. In fact, every year we go and cut down our tree at a tree farm in Connecticut. Aside from the fun of hot cocoa, a hay ride and the debate about which of the boys gets to actually cut it down, the trees typically stay fresh for a good five or six weeks.

Typically...but this year not so much.

We did the usual trek up to Easton and enjoyed all the aspects of the tree cutting excursion. I decorated it with some help from the boys with A Christmas Story playing on the television.  Here's a shot of it all tricked out and festive. I loved this tree! It was fat and fabulous, just like Santa.

I watered this thing twice a day and made sure it was getting enough to drink, as I do every year. Usually, the fresh cut trees last well past New Year's Day because they haven't been sitting on a lot for a couple of weeks already. 

Not the tree we got this year.

This tree was defective. I don't know what the heck happened but in a matter of two weeks it turned into a stick tree that rained pine needles. It had completely stopped taking in any water 
and had turned into a fire hazard.

So we had to un-decorate the entire thing, throw it out (and by the time we got it outside it was naked on the entire bottom half) and get a new one. 

Here's a shot of the Humphreys' Family Christmas Tree 2.0.

I didn't mind, really. I love decorating the tree, so that part was fun. I could've done without the explosion of pine needles on the first floor but the boys helped out so it wasn't that bad. Actually, they were more helpful decorating it the second time around and we all had a good laugh about the defective tree.

Has this ever happened to you? Tell me about your xmas tree mishap and I'll pick one person to win a signed copy of UNTAMED. (US or Canada only) Comment by 11:59pm on 12/16 to enter.


  1. My parents had a tree with termites!

    Love the story, Sara! Beautiful tree, both of them! One year, the only year ever, I went Christmas shopping the day after to buy a Christmas tree at Dilliards. Stood in the parking garage underneath the store for a couple of hours, finally was let in with the hoards of women and tons headed for the trees. Poor harried clerks. I walked up to one and said my name, pointed at a tree and that was it.

    It was wrapped up and an hour later was ready at the loading dock. Sounds easy, right? It wasn't. All the trees had names on them, and it was a juggle to grab a clerk and get a name on the last tree there even though I was one of the first up the stairs. I thought: Note to self, it's not worth it!

    Christmas the following year, I set up my pride and joy, and the top of the tree was broken! In their haste to take it down and put it in the box, they broke it. So for fifteen years I McGivered it to make it sit on top of the tree, wired branches to others over the years when their slots had broken and no longer held them and every year you couldn't tell. It was beautiful when decorated.

    Every year my kids would tell me to get rid of the tree, and so last year I finally did. The new tree is not beautifully fat like the old. It comes in 3 sections and already has its lights. It's beautiful, but not the same! :)

  2. Funny, Sara. You were able to get into the holiday spirit-twice. I've never had a tree with troubles, but then again, we changed to artificial a few years back. ;-)

  3. This hasn't ever happened to me. To be fair, we have had an artificial tree the last few years. I think you should have gotten a refund.

  4. Sara, what a delightful story! And both trees are simply gorgeous. My momma loved real trees and I remember doing all that watering and by the day after Christmas it looked downright pitiful. But then she finally broke down and got an artificial one and we all whined because we loved that trip out into the woods with her to cut one down. Since she was a single mom, she did the cutting but she did let us help with decorating!

  5. I had that happen to a tree but luckily it didn't happen until after Christmas. We used a shovel to get all the pine needles. One year after staying up until 3AM and I was on another floor finishing up wrapping gifts, our tree fell over. Pretty sure our cats had something to do with it. The sad part was some of the ornament that got broken. So I redid the tree and after just going to bed, it fell again! My husband had to tie it to something lol. Now we had a much larger base to hold it. So at 5AM I was redecorating for the second time. Even ran my vaccum for the broken ornaments. And my 2 kids never woke up - amazing lol. Of course we got no sleep because they were up at 6 lol.

  6. Nice trees. We decorated the tree and turned on the lights on the tree to find out that half of them were broken. We decided to leave it that way.


  7. Oh no that is horrible! I hope you got your money back since it was defective. I think they should have some kind of guarantee that it will at least last till after Christmas lol.

    When I finally got my own apartment I got a cheap little fake tree that came with one string of white lights, it wasn't Christmas time when the mishap happened but it did involve the tree. The last apartment I lived in didn't have enough storage room so my undecorated tree just sat in my living room (didn't have to many visitors anyway)so my dog had a chew bone and after having it for a while it was getting to the point where small pieces start to come off and you know they say to only let them chew it while supervised, well I decided to put it away one day and when I came home later, the undecorated tree was knocked over and he had chewed through the attached string of lights in several places and some of the bulbs so there was small pieces of glass too, ugh needless to say I never took his toy away again lest he finds something else to chew on.
    It wouldn't be so bad now but the lights are attached so I have to find a way to remove them now. But I have the whole next year to do that since I get to visit my dad in California this year :-)

    I know it's not a Christmas mishap but it was the tree lol.
    Thanks for the giveaway!!


  8. So for some reason I got a mail delivery failure about the comment I just posted. That was weird. It shows that my comment is there so I don't know what that email was about.

  9. Decorating the tree TWICE!!!! Hats off to you, Sara. Not sure I could've done that. After I finished decorating our tree, I sat down to admire it (and rest) and the light I'd put in the star went out right before my eyes.
    Needless to say, it remains unlit.

  10. We don't usually put up a tree but yours certainly is beautiful (both times!). Thanks for sharing your memories and happy holidays to you and your family.

  11. I'm SUCH a slacker! I never posted the winner---it's Elf2060. Congrats and shoot me an email at to claim your prize!