But don't fear, it really doesn't change the look of the tree all that much. It's still all limbs and as wide as it is tall, and taking up half the living room as if it's afraid someone might forget that IT'S CHRISTMAS!
This is my view when I look left while sitting in my favorite chair:
When Steve sits in his favorite spot on the end of the couch we have to look at each other through spindly branches and around homemade ornaments. The star at the top is cardboard, made by Rachel. We used to have an angel. She might still be in another box I haven't gotten out, but I kinda' like the star.
Our tree came from family property behind our house. We haven't always gone out and cut our own tree, but a few years ago we were pretty broke at Christmastime and didn't want to (or just couldn't) spend the money to buy one, so Steve took the kids out back and found one for free.
It was so huge, so wide. It seemed ridiculous that we would bring it in the house. But we got it covered in lights and as many ornaments as those wispy branches would hold up. It was perfect.
So in the years since then the kids have asked each year when dad would take them out to pick out a tree. Even the times I have quietly mentioned how I would like a tall, thin, perfectly trimmed and sturdy-branched tree ... from a Christmas tree farm, perhaps ... the kids have poo-pooed the idea in favor of trudging out to the woods with dad to pick a very natural, homegrown evergreen.
I will admit drooling a bit over the gigantic, lush spruce that stands at the front of our church. But our tree at home - our "aggressively festive" tree, as one friend calls it - is just as beautiful.
This year's pick (and my lumberjack husband sizing it up):
This was the first year I went with Steve and the kids to pick out the tree. It was fun - and being out there in the woods is always inspiring but particularly so when everything is covered with about a foot of snow.
We actually didn't bring the tree home on the first round. Steve's chainsaw wasn't working right, so we made mental note of where it was and went back another day.
Rach and I threw a few snowballs while Steve did the work.
It's funny how things work out. That first year Steve and the kids brought the tree in it looked so ridiculous it felt like a joke. Then the next year when the kids requested the same thing I'm sure I rolled my eyes a bit, but decided we could work with it. Now the thought of spending money on something we could get from our back yard for free seems almost silly.
Sometimes the best traditions are the unexpected ones that just happen. I like this one.