It turns out - quite strangely, really - that I am eight different kinds of allergic to the faux Christmas tree we bought at Costco in 2010 so this year it has gone to live with Alan's parents, leaving us tree-less for the first time in a handful of years. I've never been a huge fan of faux trees, but Alan - the person who is responsible for setting up the tree, watering it, and putting the lights on - hates real trees, and I can certainly admit to the ease of setting them up and how nice it is to have a seemingly perfect tree. Still, not being able to get near the faux tree, much less touch it, caused us to re-evaluate our tree options for this year.
The day after we arrived home from London (I know, I know ... only one re-cap so far - I am totally failing) we set out to find a live tree for the first time in years. We could have gone the standard noble fir route, but I wanted something a little more exotic this year. Many years ago I'd seen a Martha Stewart silver tip tree and I was smitten. I've often held that tree up in my mind as the example of The Most Beautiful Tree. So, I decided that since we were going back to a real tree that we should get one of those.
I realize now that going out on November 30 was a bit early in the season, but I have a tradition of putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and I had a schedule to stick to ... if not exactly, then hopefully closely. It had been raining and so rather than walking to the lot down the street from us, we drove the short distance over. They had a few silver tips but nothing that jumped out at me as being The One.
In the past we've had great luck with Delancey Street - for tree and for moving crews - so we then drove over to their site next to the Wendy's on Broadway at the entrance to Rockridge only to find that they'd moved locations over to Temescal, our old hood. So we drove over there. Alas, they didn't have one single silver tip tree on the lot. I was pretty shocked because my recollection is that in the past they've tended to have a wide variety of trees in all sorts of sizes, but it felt to me like that first weekend after Thanksgiving was devoted entirely to your standard Christmas trees in the 7-9 foot range.
There's another tree lot in the area (51st and Telegraph) that we've stopped into once, but haven't ever done business with. We drove past them and I saw they had many silver tips on the lot. We pulled in, spent a couple of minutes looking at trees, and then picked out a beauty and some garland to go with it. I felt bad dragging Alan to three different lots - especially since he got sick on the flight home from London - but in the end it was all worth it because we came home with a beauty of a tree. It turned out to be too large for our elevator so Alan carried it upstairs, all while I screamed out PIVOT at the appropriate moments. When we got it inside, it was slightly too tall for the room so we cut off the top and set about decorating it. We had problems with lights that I'd purchased at Target just a few weeks earlier and we realized that we didn't have nearly enough lights to light the thing up. I ran out to pick up lights and then Alan gave it a shot. Remember me saying that Alan HATES putting lights on trees? Well, I ended up taking over this duty for the majority of the tree and it was interesting having to be specific with where to place the strand given the style of this tree. In the end, I think I didn't do such a terrible job.