Prepping – and Primping – For Christmas

Audrey and I headed off to hunt down and capture a live Christmas tree Tuesday night. Lynn was teaching a quilting class at the shop so the task was left to us. We also needed to pick up a 30-inch wreath for the front of the house (over the front door) and a 24-inch wreath for inside the house, over the hearth in the living room.

For many years (when we weren’t living in Germany) we’d head to Seasons Four Garden Center in Lexington for our trees and wreaths. The prices were quite good, the selection was excellent, and they had a Santa and a small petting zoo for the kids, and hot chocolate, mulled cider, and cookies for adults and kids. They also had a gift shoppe area with lots of ornaments and decorations for sale. When the kids were young and the fingers and toes got cold, Lynn would take them inside to warm up while I stalked the perfect tree for the living room.

With time and age, the extra-curricular activities had less of a draw on the kids, and the crowds that formed at Seasons Four were often daunting, to the point where parking was a problem, so last year Lynn and I decided to break the mold and check out somewhere else. We headed off to McCue’s Garden Center in Woburn, just down the street from us in Four Corners. The selection was equally as good as Seasons Four, they were much closer, the prices seemed a bit lower, and they were incredibly helpful! I never had to touch a tree or a wreath – we just pointed to the tree we wanted, they took it, gave it a fresh cut, wrapped it in netting, put it on the roof of our van and tied it down for us! Same with the wreaths. The only thing I touched was my credit card!

This year Audrey and I headed straight to McCue’s.

The trees this year continue the trend that we’ve seen over the years – they’re getting fuller and denser, with almost no inside room to hang ornaments. I have an overly meticulous method of stringing lights on the tree, where I wrap each branch from the trunk outwards. It takes a long time, and it uses thousands of lights, but it looks so much better when it’s done. This year, I’m not sure I’ll be able to fight my way into the tree to reach the trunk!

We got the tree into a bucket of water in the garage, and the wreaths on a table in the garage, ready for deployment and hanging over this weekend. Soon phase two of the holiday decorating will commence (phase one being the outdoor lights and window candles two weeks ago just after Thanksgiving), followed by phase three (“…the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…”) on Christmas Eve.

Now if we can just arrange for a little snow by Christmas Eve…

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