Oh Christmas Tree, Faux Christmas Tree, How Lovely Are Thy Branches

We officially went faux last year when we knew we would be away for Christmas but wanted to have a tree to decorate with the ornaments that S brings me back from his travels around the world. But we only had a small temporary tree since we couldn't stomach the price of a grand real-looking faux tree.

On the day after Christmas hours before he had to leave for a three week trip overseas, S went on a hunt in search of the perfect deeply discounted faux tree. He ended up finding a $800+ tree for $125, which just happened to be the exact amount of cash his grandparents gave us as a Christmas gift. He paid for the tree, I wrote the "thank you for the Christmas tree" note to his grandparents and we stuck the tree in its box in the shed.

Last week S pulled the tree out of the shed (the Christmas card from his grandparents still in the box) and we set to work stringing 11 rolls of 200 warm white LED lights on its branches. Since stringing lights on a faux tree is a once-in-its-lifetime task, we wanted to make sure we did it right the first time. And by do it right the first time, I mean it took us nearly two full days to wrap every single branch of the tree. Twice.
We tried to take turns, but it proved to be much easier if one person wrapped the branches while the other fed the string of lights and made sure it didn't get tangled.
The whole process was Feeney approved; he likes any excuse to be right up in the action, especially if it means he gets to lean on, lay on or otherwise touch one of his humans for an extended period of time. He's kind of lovey.

We had to move a little bit of furniture to fit the huge tree in our living room, but surprisingly it actually works well. And the best part is that it doesn't look fake - I'm really glad we waited until the after Christmas sales and that S braved the crowds and traffic to find this tree. We love it, even without ornaments yet!

While we love, love, love the tradition (and smell!) of a real tree, after the smaller investment in the faux tree and the much bigger investment in lights, we're considering ourselves officially faux converts; at least for the next several years when we're likely to be living in the city. Storage issues aside, I think it's a pretty good decision. So how about you, are you joining the faux side this year?

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  1. We've gone faux ever since the year my parents brought home a tree from the tree farm that had a hidden praying mantis' nest inside. After incubating indoors for several days, tiny praying mantises hatched all over the house! Aaaah! Yeah, never again.

  2. I'm willing to convert! When you say you wrap the lights only once, does that mean you can remove the branches with the lights still on? Or do you leave the whole tree put together in storage? I'm having a hard time understanding lol. One string per branch? How do you plug them all in?

  3. KB - our tree doesn't have branches that come off, rather they fold up. the whole tree is in three parts - bottom, middle and top. We have 11 strands of lights on the tree total and made sure that we ended each of the three sections with the end of a string of lights. That way we can take it all apart, fold it up and stick the three sections in a tree storage bag for the rest of the year.

    When we strung the lights I wrapped the string of lights around the center of the branch (leaving the pointy parts of the branches where you hang ornaments without lights to leave more room for ornaments) from the center of the tree, to the end of the branch, back to the center, back to the end and back to the center, then I'd go to the branch next to it and do the same, and so on 'til I ran out of lights or reached the end of one of the three sections. It was all really quite easy once we got going!


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