Well, we finally did it. This year we got our very first artificial Christmas tree (kind of...keep reading). Up to now we have always had a real tree but felt the time was upon us to make the change. We used to go out and roam the tree farm looking for the "perfect" tree. Then we'd cut it down and drag it back to the truck. Once home it was time to get it into the tree stand, haul it inside and keep tweaking the stand adjustments until the tree stood straight and tall. The pine smell of the tree was always so wonderful and made it seem even more like Christmas!
Now with making the change to the artificial tree, some parts of the process are very similar and other parts are very different. Instead of traipsing through the fields of the tree farm, we traipsed through store after store seeking the perfect tree. Once we found it we hauled it out to the car. At home it was a matter of setting up the stand and then "building" our tree with the 4 sections in the box. As each section was added we dutifully plugged in the tree to make sure the lights worked....just like the instructions said to do. After that comes the "fluffing" stage where you move the branches from their squished state from being in the box, to a more natural looking position. The fluffing was kind of time consuming as we wanted it to look just right. Now came the time to step back and look at our perfect new artificial tree. It was beautiful....right up to the point where half a section of lights went out. After much examination, Michael determined is was a short in that section of the wires.
So we reversed the process and got it all back in the box, back into the car and back to the store. We loaded up a replacement hoping the exchange would work out ok and not just repeat the first attempt. Once home with the second tree, we started all over again. Set up the stand, place in the sections one by one checking to make sure the lights worked. So far so good, but we'd already been this far before. So once the tree was set up and plugged in, rather than fluffing we decided to just let leave it plugged in for a while to make sure the lights worked. For a couple evenings we'd turn on the lights once we got home from work and they worked just fine, so now we decided it was ok to fluff the branches out.
I discovered a nice feature while adding ornaments. If you have an ornament that doesn't hang quite right all you have to do is move a branch a bit to make it hang properly! You can't do that on a real tree!
So, as I said, there are some thing similar with real vs. artificial trees and some things are different. It's a trade off in so many ways. The artificial trees available now days are so much better than those of years ago. I'm very happy with our new tree and look forward to many years of it's beauty. You really have to get up close to see it's not a real tree. After the holidays we'll pack up the tree until next year. We anticipate a much easier time setting up the tree next year! As for the wonderful pine smell or a real tree.........a little hidden sachet takes care of that!