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Coffee Talk 12.03.17

Good morning! I hope you’re having a good weekend. Mine has been full and busy and very fun, and it’s not over yet. We have church this morning and then I have another fun holiday event to attend tonight. I’d love to fit in a nap in between, but we’ve also discussed trying to get our live tree this afternoon so I’ll have to see how that all plays out.

I mentioned in one of my daily emails that we had suggested not doing the live tree this year because we’re not going to be here on Christmas Day, and our calendar has been packed so tight. (We do have a full-sized artificial tree all set up and decorated in the living room, so it’s not like we wouldn’t have any Christmas tree, but that one is more my tree.) The live one goes in the family room, and it’s the tree where we hang all of our family ornaments and where all the presents go . . . when we’re home for Christmas, anyway.

Needless to say, the kids were not thrilled with that idea, so we’re rethinking that, but I’m curious . . . those of you who do Christmas, how many trees do you set up? And do you do live or artificial?

I grew up with artificial trees due to allergies, but when I married Paul, he introduced me to his family’s tradition of going out to a tree farm and cutting down a live tree, and I was immediately hooked. It’s so much fun, and the kids look forward to it every year. There are lots of tree farms around here so it’s not hard to find one and you don’t have to drive very far, so a lot of families have this tradition.

We’ve tried a few different places, but we have our favorite. They serve hot chocolate, there’s a gift shop where we like to pick up live wreaths and maybe a few new ornaments, and Santa is there on the busiest weekends. It’s just good old-fashioned fun, and if you ask me, the world could use a little more of that!

Well, this is short but I’m going to wrap it up because I need to get moving here. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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80 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 12.03.17

  1. Our house tree is artificial, also due to allergies. For the last few years, we’ve also put a live tree on our patio. Going to get it has become a fun tradition, and it’s so pretty with lights and sparkly decorations, especially when it snows.

  2. We just have one artificial tree and we’re disappointed a couple of years ago when we tried having a live tree because we were expecting to have the smell of pine fill the house and that didn’t happen! Lol. My daughter has a very small artificial tree that she has in her room and she is so excited to put it up every year even though it is tiny!! We are hopefully putting our tree up later today. Have a nice day, Jo-Lynne! 

  3. We go get a live tree every year at the farm.  I set up 7 trees and many little trees.  I love Christmas.

  4. First of all, I would like to say that I went shopping yesterday and had the best time at a darling boutique called Francesca’s. With the help of an excellent store manager, I bought 14 wonderful items and am so excited to wear them. Just wanted you to know that I could hear both you and Cindy as I tried on items and made my selections:)

    I actually have four artificial Christmas trees in my house. One large one in “my living room” that is decorated to my liking: white lights with gold, silver, and teal balls, and accents;  two smaller, skinny ones flank the fireplace in the “family room” – each is decorated with ornaments made by or given to my two sons; so I have a Cody tree and a Dylan tree; fnally in our media room, I have a taller skinny family tree adorned with ornaments with out family name or those given to me during my years as a teacher or to my husband. So decorate that tree:) The more the merrier!

  5. Good morning Jo-Lynne  We have one artificial tree but I remember growing up and my parents always bought  a real one. I think it was more common back then and before artificial trees started to look so real. I still remember the smell of the real tree and miss it. I consider it every year but still end up putting our artificial tree up. 
    Have a blessed Sunday! 

  6. Hi Jo-Lynne, We do one tree at our home now but we are in a small house so that is perfect for us :). We do artificial because my husband has allergies, but my sister and her family put up a live one that they go to a tree farm to get also. If you decide to go today I hope you-all have a wonderful time!!!! Hugs!

  7. Just one tree here! I grew up with real. Back in the 60s and 70s that’s what everyone had. So early in my marriage we were going with real until they started drying out so quickly! We had them in a watering stand, but it’d dry out anyway and the needles would start falling to the floor. I hated the mess!
    So we tried artificial about 15-20 years ago and that’s what we’ve stayed with. We now have a really nice one from Costco. You just tap a foot pedal or use the remote and voila! It lights up. You can choose white lights or colored. And it’s super easy for my husband to put together. Some older ones used to give him all kinds of trouble. I love it!

    1. That sounds awesome! We switched to a non-lighted tree, b/c the lights on the pre-lit ones always flaked out, and drove my husband nuts. But we do have to put them on every year, which is a pain. Maybe they’ve improved them since I bought this over 5 years ago. I wouldn’t mind getting one that is pre-lit.

  8. When my kids were still at home we always had 2 trees. The beautiful “my”tree and the other tree with all the kid’s colirful ornaments. Now we just have one large artificial tree that’s breathtaking. It looks so real. I have to hand it to those who put up multiple trees. It takes me 1 1/2 days to decorate ours so one is about all the stamina I have! LOL Have fun today and be blessed!

    1. I would love to see your tree! Mine is pretty plain. I really want to fill in more with more ornaments, ribbons, those stick things (haha! I am so not a decorator, can you tell?) I’m not very good at it, but I love a pretty tree.

  9. We have been cutting and putting up a live tree for all 25 years of our marriage. It was husbands family tradition. Our 22 year old is as committed as husband! They will not even talk about doing an artificial. The last few years I have made them help me more in getting it decorated because they are the ones wanting it. lol

    1. Yes, that is the nice thing about the kids being older. They can “help” — although they don’t take care of things the way I do, which does stress me out. It’s a trade-off!

  10. When kids were young we did live for a while, then because of allergies switched. This year we debated because we threw out our artificial last year, but decided artificial because I’m such a nutcase putting the lights on! Hahaha! Perfectionism stinks!

  11. We’ve done artificial for the last ten years or so, one in our living room and a small one in my son’s play room. We buy keepsake ornaments every year for the family tree, and my son’s is full of classmate and school ornaments. I’m always drawn to the beautiful “fancy” trees, but there is nothing more special to me than our tree filled with 15 years of memories. Maybe one day I can have both if we ever move to a bigger space, ha!

  12. Jo-Lynne:
    I’m glad to hear you’ve reconsidered the live (family) tree. This being your son’s ‘last’ Christmas at home, before he’s a college kid, keep it normal and let him have this memory. As I think back about my kids’ lasts…. I wished I’d done so many things differently. Just my thoughts… Have a lovely day!

  13. We stopped doing a live tree 19 years ago as often gone 3-4 days over Christmas, family out of state, and then also due to allergies and decided to donate the money to a charity. We have a couple tiny tabletop type ones.  I like keeping it simple.  

  14. After many years spending Christmas sick, I realized it was the tree. So we are artificial only now.  I have a big flocked tree in our main living area.  A travel tree (ornaments of all the places we’ve visited) in my dining room, a white stick style tree in our all white bedroom and skinny trees in all the other bedrooms. I can sit and stare at my trees for hours on end.  I love it all.  

    1. Wow! You win! Haha. That’s crazy. My mom has 4, I think. We’ll be at her house for Christmas this year, and I am excited because every room is festive. Some day when my kids are gone, maybe I’ll have more. 🙂

      1. Lots of pressure this year, bc I was finishing a big sewing project.  But my family would be crushed if we didn’t do them all.  I think it’s the thing I do they most appreciate…which speaks volumes of truth about my cooking, lol!

  15. I grew up with a live tree we cut from the woods– my husband grew up with artificial trees. When we married, we went live tree with a mixture of ornaments ranging from blown glass from my mother’s childhood to the paper cups with my kids’ faces glued inside. For years we had just one tree, but we only ever kept it up for two weeks. I added an artificial tree in our dining room which was decorated with “natural” ornaments like pine cones, nuts, wax and salt dough ornaments, some homemade, some purchased. It always went up Thanksgiving weekend and stayed until my husband asked if it was going to be a St. Patty’s Day tree. I just loved the lights during the dark winter– white lights, only white. Alas, this year I’m living in an apartment while waiting to build and decided not to put up a tree– but I already miss it so I know I’ll be thrilled to put it up again next year.

    1. We’ve done both live and artificial trees, but we’re forgoing a tree this year too, and it’s killing me. Instead we’re purging and packing.  We’re breaking ground this week on a 2-story addition to our home and totally renovating the current structure….we’ll be moving out once the new foundation, framing etc are complete.  Like you, I’ll be thrilled to put a tree and throughly decorate next year.  I did put up our live outdoor Christmas wreaths on the front door and arbor gate, and two lighted trees that flank our garage.  Good luck with your new build, it that’s the route you decide to take.

  16. Please don’t give up a tradition the kids look forward to. It’s so easy when you get busy but its part of the magic they don’t forget. 

  17. We only do an artificial tree, but my kids are grown and out of the house. If you have the time, continue your fun family tradition of getting the real tree—keep making memories for your children. They will be gone in the blink of an eye. 

  18. Here in GA we always had an artificial tree during my childhood.  One year Larry and I bought a Leland Cypress to use as our Christmas tree, then we planted it in the yard.  It was still alive and rather tall when we moved from that place in 2016.  Now, we have a faux tree that is in a pot in our den due to our home being very small.  It came decorated with some nature items & clear lights.  I add a few outdoorsy items and a cross ornament to it, but keep it very simple.  We do have a big artificial tree on our front porch that we love.  That is a new tradition that we will continue.  It’s in a spot where it’s pretty well protected from the elements, we can enjoy it, and it looks so pretty from the road.  Christmas is our very favorite holiday, so we decorate early and turn on all of the indoor lights daily, if we are going to be home.  When our granddaughter was born, I started buying her an ornament every year.  I buy something that is applicable to her lifestyle, if at all possible.  She loves the ornaments, and her mom told me this past week how much she enjoys unwrapping all of the ornaments I have given Carley over the years.  Since she is now attending college I think e GA mountains, I found an ornament with a bear and the mountains on it.  And I always find a spot on the ornament to write the year it was given to her.

    1. I love giving ornaments as gifts. I have given one to each of my kids almost every year. My husband’s dad also used to make ornaments, and every child and grandchild got one each year. Those are among my favorites. Paul has one from every year since like 1979 or something. Plus my mom bought me an ornament almost every year, so I have all of those as well. So special!

  19. I’ve cut trees on our family’s ranch all my life. I did it with my grandparents and parents and now with our children and grandchildren. It’s a huge tradition that we all love and wouldn’t miss. I only put up the one tree and decorate with a combination of my mother’s handpainted ornaments and ones that have meaning to me. Each ornament is one of a kind and it takes me forever to get it up. I’ll start today and hope to finish by the end of the week.  

  20. We have two, one in our living room and one in our lower level family room. Both are artificial or I wouldn’t be able to breath. Years ago it took me awhile to figure out why I was always sick in Dec.  I used to have the tree with family ornaments but when my children grew up and married I gave them their own ornaments and a few others that they each especially liked. Now they’re on their own trees. A few years ago my husband built a stand for the lower level tree that’s on wheels. I decorated it once and now we just roll it in and out of our storage area each year. Best idea ever!

    1. Debbie, Best idea ever! I’ve always said every home should be built with a revolving door where THE Christmas tree is displayed. Push a button after Christmas and the door revolves back to your normal space! Merry Christmas!

  21. Just shake out insects if you get a real one before bringing in house. My husband & I have 3 small trees but we have no children coming to celebrate. We go to their house. So we do easy.

  22. Going out to get our tree is a part of our Christmas tradition and really gets us in the spirit. We all love it! I have small artificial ones in all four bedrooms for the twinkle. I hope you get out for your tree today. I know it’ll put a smile on all your faces. 

  23. We pretty much have always done the same as you. Pretty artificial tree in Living Room and a real tree in the Family Room decorated with all the ornaments that mean a lot to all the kids. This will be the first year we will have only one tree. We used to have one of some kind in every room in the house ( Kid’s rooms, Dining Room. Rosemary trees in the Bathrooms etc….) I miss it this year but we just will not be home enough for it to make sense. Put the extra tree up and enjoy the holiday, if anyone cared i would!
    Have fun tonight! I just got home from a Holiday House Tour in Cape May…so pretty.

  24. We do two trees — one live and one artificial.  My kids could do without the artificial one — it’s the live one they love even though one is in college and one out on her own, we save their ornaments for them to put on when they come home.  I make a needlepoint ornament for each of my kids every year and those are the ones they want to put on the family tree themselves.   Great to have so many fun family traditions!

  25. Well, tree-wise, what I think is ideal and what I want to do vs. what I actually do are two different things. My ideal is actually a lot like yours–large tree in the more formal living space, and another, smaller, but preferably live one in the family room where we spend the most time. But…at this point in time our house is small and kind of crowded. So we cram a full sized tree into the living room and only a tiny fiber optic thing on a table in the corner of our tiny den. We recently switched to artificial for the main tree because we don’t have the option to cut our own, and the live trees dry out too much if we bring them in before a couple weeks before Christmas. Having to wait to do the tree so late got stressful. In this small space, I’m to the point that I’d really like to just put a 3′ or 4′ tree on top of a table by the window and call it good, but I think our little nieces and nephews would think we were really lame, so big tree it is!

  26. We considered artificial this year, but decided to still get a live tree from Costco. Decorating it today! Have a lovely day picking out your tree!

  27. I SAY DO THE KIDS REAL TREE.  TIME GOES SO FAST WHERE THEY ARE ALL HOME.  YOU CAN CHANGE THINGS UP AFTER THEY LEAVE IF YOU WANT, BUT IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, YOU WILL STILL WANT TO HAVE THOSE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS TO CARRY ON EVEN AFTER THEY LEAVE AND COME HOME WITH THEIR FAMILIES.  WE DO REAL AND ALWAYS HAVE.  I HAVE TO SAY WHEN ITS RAINING OUT AND I’M TRYING TO FIND A TIME TO GO TO THE TREE FARM, I WISH I HAD A ARTIFICIAL TO JUST PUT UP RIGHT THEN, BUT AFTER GOING TO THE TREE FARM, GLAD I DIDN’T GIVE IN.  THERE IS JUST SOMETHING ABOUT THE TRIP AND THE LIVE TREE.  WE’VE BEEN EMPTIED NESTED FOR 4 YRS. NOW BUT MY HUSBAND AND I STILL GO TOGETHER. LAST YEAR MY SON HAPPENED TO BE HOME THE WEEKEND WE WANTED TO GET OUR TREE AND HE WENT WITH US AND ENJOYED THE TIME AT THE FARM AGAIN.  SO, SINCE THIS IS THE LAST YEAR FOR YOUR SON TO DO THE FAMILY TREE FARM WHEN HE’S HOME WITH YOU ALL, I SAY GO DO THE TRIP AND ENJOY THE TIME DECORATING THE TREE AS A FAMILY.  I KNOW THE OLDER WE GET WE TRY TO SIMPLIFY THINGS AND NOT BE SO PRESSED, BUT TRY TO GET RID OF THE THINGS THAT DON’T MEAN AS MUCH, EVEN IF ITS NOT GOING TO ONE OF YOUR HOLIDAY GATHERS WITH OTHERS.  YOUR FAMILY FIRST. 🙂  HAVE FUN TODAY NO MATTER WHAT YOU CHOOSE. IF YOU GO TO THE TREE FARM……SEND US PICTURES WHEN YOU POST NEXT 🙂  

  28. Artificial tree!  We went with my grandparents once to get a real tree for their house and discovered that my mom, my sister, and I are all allergic!  I used to do a second one in our kitchen with all kinds of food, candy, and appliance ornaments on it, but that space is now filled with the Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage!  I set up a little tree in my classroom every year that matches my room’s colors or theme.

  29. We have one tree and it’s artificial. I do love everything about real trees, including going out to get it. That’s half the fun! But I can put the artificial tree up right after Thanksgiving, the lights already strung, and enjoy it all month long without it drying. I recently heard of someone going to tree farms asking for their leftover trimmings, so she could plug them into her artificial tree for the look and smell of a real one. I think that’s fabulous! But I imagine those branches dry out quickly, so it could be a lot of maintenance.

  30. Hi Jo-Lynne –
    We just do one tree (artificial) – I’d love to do more, but storing all the decor and everything takes up too much space.  I’ve done live trees in the past – and I LOVE how they smell, but they make SUCH a mess.  On the other hand, doing a live tree would mean that you don’t have to store a tree either.  So, I guess they both have their pro’s and con’s 🙂

  31. We moved into a much larger home about a year and a half ago so now I have a fancy artificial tree in our living room and then a fun smaller artificial tree in the family room with all the silly ornaments and the ones our kids made a long time ago. We did just add another 3’ tree to our front entry this year but I only have a couple ornaments on it. I do have a snowman obsession and at last count I was at 48…. lol. But that wasn’t including ornaments and I’ve gotten more decorations since then. I think I have a problem…haha. 

  32. We have a real tree; we pick it out each year as a family with hot chocolate, etc., similar to you. We also decorate a live tree in our yard. An artificial tree takes up too much storage real estate in our home, plus the place where we get the live trees from donates a part of the proceeds to local sports teams, etc. (and they are raised sustainably, which is important to us). 

    We just got our tree yesterday!!

  33. One tree only, this feels meaningful to us. Our family tradition is going to a local tree farm and cutting it down ourselves. We get it the weekend after Thanksgiving and keep it up through New Year’s when my kids go back to school. I live keeping it simple with white lights and ornaments we have collected over the years. It is homey and lovely. I have learned to let go of my perfectionist ways, we all decorate it and it is perfectly imperfect.  I enjoy it as a beautiful symbol of light and joy this time of year. 

  34. I grew up with artificial because of my brothers allergies.  My husband’s family lost their whole home when their real tree caught fire.  Needless to say, we have always done artificial.  We moved to our retirement home this year, and downsized, so now we have a 5ft. Tree that stands on a small table.  When our 4 kids were all home, they each had a small tree in their rooms and we had a 7′ tree in the family room.  

    I’m so excited to have all my kids home for Christmas this year.  They all wanted to see my mom (she has Alzheimer’s and is slowly fading away).  I’m all decorated and ready for them to arrive!!

  35. We moved to the Gulf coast in 2011, major downsize. Before we had 2 big trees and 2 small ones. Now we have only one. It has all the best stuff from our 4 former trees. Including pictures of our daughters every year. They are 32 and 34.  Of course now those pictures include our sons in loves and two of the cutest grandsons you’ve ever seen. We’ve had both artificial and live trees over the years. We did the tree farm thig when our girls were younger. Find time to get that tree. Your kids will be out of the nest before you can blink????✝ ENJOY

  36. We just do one tree, live, and about 12-18 ft tall. As we are getting “older” I want a shorter tree (easier to set up, and not so many trips up a ladder), but my husband always wants the biggest tree in the neighborhood! I have fun girly ornaments (tea things) and have always wanted to do a second smaller tree just for those. Now I see that is not an outrageous idea! So much fun to hear what everyone else does with their trees. This year we are going to get our tree along with our son and his wife and I am looking so forward to it.

    1. Not outrageous at all! 🙂 I sort of felt that way too, when we bought our 2nd tree. But now I love it. I especially love that the artificial tree can be up so much longer than a live tree.

  37. We do 3 artificial tress foyer, dining room
     amd family room. The tree in the family room if it was artificial or real my adult kids would be so upset if we didn’t put their childhood ornaments out they seem to have more of a sentiment as they get older and they aren’t ready to take them and put them on their trees at their homes! 

  38. Christmas explodes all over our house! I love Christmas and the entire Christmas season. We used to have 2 fake trees but for the past few years my husband really wanted real ones. So the family room tree has all the presents and the ornaments we’ve had over the year, and the ones the girls made when they were little (now 21 and 23). The foyer tree has a 9 foot tree and this was is decorated with angels only. It has a victorian look with a lot of soft pink and gold in the ornaments. The dining room has a 3 foot artificial tree – my sister lives in VA and sends me a white house ornament every year so this tree is dedicated to those. Then I have 2 small trees in the each of the girls’ bedroom. I guess you can’t have too many Christmas trees!

  39. We have one small artificial white tree that was given to us. My 4yo loves it. I don’t want the mess of a real tree so as long as she’s happy with this one it stays.

  40. We always did an artificial tree in the entrance hall and a live tree in the living room. I grew up going to a tree farm and we started doing that when A was born. Eventually, our lives got too busy and we started going to a local nursery for a tree. It got to the point that I could not stand the mess. Plus, our township will only pick the trees up on one Saturday and it is the third Saturday in January (which does not coincide with my OCD tendencies to want the tree up Thanksgiving weekend and down New Year’s Day). Two years ago, we were away on the collection day for the trees and our dead tree sat in our back garden until Spring. At that point, I said never again. We now have two artificial trees. A “kids” tree in the living room and “my” tree in the entrance hall.

  41. My husband always had real growing up and we always had artificial. When we got married, he wanted to switch to artificial mostly because real trees can be messy. I love the smell of a real tree, so I go out and buy Scentcicles that smell like a pine tree and hang them up all over my artificial tree. We only do one tree in our living room. We tried our bonus room one year, but because we spend so much time on the main level of our house it didn’t feel very “Chritmasy” when we couldn’t see it.

  42. I grew up doing as your husband did (cutting down a live tree in a forest) and it’s so special. Don’t skip the tradition this year! With teens,  it won’t be much longer that they care about these things….don’t stop before you have to!

  43. I hope your kids get the real tree 🙂 As long as they want the tradition, I think it’s a good thing to do it. 

    We have one or two trees depending on how crazy the season is. It’s just my husband, me and the dog and I do the decorating so it depends on how much I want to do lol! We have a 6 ft prelit tree for our living room that all of my special ornaments go on and sometimes I put a skinny tree in the dining room and fill it with rustic type ornaments. One year I put a small tree in my craft room, but supplies took over that next year so no more tree there lol! I have a small one for our bedroom to put baseball ornaments on but we haven’t found a good spot for it yet. I love to buy ornaments and decorate trees! 

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