I’ve always had an artificial tree growing up while my husband always had a real one.  Last year, we couldn’t agree on what to get, so I just put up the little 2 footer I had.   It was cute, and it worked, but when Christmas stuff went on clearance, I picked up a full-size artificial tree.  We decided that Dec. 1st would be when we put up our tree each year, so even though it’s been in the 40s/50s for most of this week and there’s no snow (and it totally doesn’t feel like Christmas!), we put it up this evening.  Meet Chester:


He’s a Manchester Spruce, hence the super-creative name!  He comes even comes with an instruction manual:


And tons of these spare branches to disguise the pole (that’s what I used them for anyway)


Unfortunately, we never picked up any lights on clearance last year, so we were stuck with the strings I used in my dorm room- 2 strings of blue and 2 strings of purple, which were more like pink once they were lit up:


And I refuse to have a pink tree, which is unfortunate because our tree could really use all 4 of those strings, but we just up the 2 blue ones.  They don’t give off much light, so we’ll definitely be picking up more when they go on clearance in a few weeks.  Also, none of our ornaments came with hooks (seriously!  since when do ornaments not come with hooks!?), so I set one of the tree for the picture, but otherwise our tree is pretty pathetic looking:


Poor Chester!  Once he’s all decorated, I’ll get a good picture with the big camera, but that should give you an idea of just how naked our tree is right now!  And since we couldn’t find any ornament hooks at the store, I’ll be spending the rest of my night making hooks!

Alright, now it’s your turn:  Do you have a real or an artificial tree?  How do you decorate your tree?  Colored or white lights?  Solid color ornaments, or fun ones?  We each have a box of ones we made when we were kids, but I think we’ll be going with traditional shiny balls this year to hopefully enhance what little light is given off by the blue lights.

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