The Story of the Magical $20 Christmas Tree {OK, it’s not Magical. But it is $20!)

Woah! Where have we been?! I’d love to say we were both stealing away on a sunny cruise or in Rome sharing bowls of pasta and pizza with our perfectly behaved children; but nope, my family has just survived the plague of 2014. Yay! We made it. Plague you ask? What plague? You might not have heard about it, since it was highly localized to my house and perhaps my sleep-deprived, wild imagination. Dramatic much? ;-) Okay, yah, we were all sick. At least we got that over before Christmas. (Knock on wood!)

This weekend I ended my personal pity party and got on with things. That’s right, the show (meaning, Christmas) must go on! Apparently when you spend too much time on the blog-o-sphere you think if you don’t have you house festooned in red, green and glitter by Dec. 1st you are doing something wrong. Well, I’m here to reassure you that you aren’t! In my books, the first week of December is super early to even think about a Christmas tree. But my books have also been fending off the aforementioned plague, so it was high time to get some spirit of the season in the house (note, I didn’t say spirits of the season, that’s another post). I won’t put the tree up for a bit but I was NOT about to miss the opportunity to get an IKEA tree this year.  (Side note, you can buy your tree early, just don’t cut off the required 1″ from the trunk until you are ready to bring it inside.)

The IKEA tree parking lotThe IKEA tree does not come in a flat-pack box. It does not come with instructions. It doesn’t even come with an Allen key! It’s just a real, live tree. And it’s $20 with proceeds going to the local Lion’s Club. Last year, leaving the Christmas spirit a little too late, the Newberry family spent an afternoon driving around Ottawa trying to find a tree. We started at a tree lot off Bank Street and nearly fell over at the price. A tree was going for $50. What. The. Heck? A tree that we’d have in our house for a week was going to cost us more than a jumbo-sized box of diapers? No way. Nu-uh. Nick said something about trees not costing that much when he was a kid, and then ‘c’mon, these things actually grow on trees!’. And the tree guy laughing at him. So we went to another place. Same story. And another. And finally we got to the YMCA and found beautiful 8 foot trees. Nick said, so the money you raise will help to support the YMCA programs? Yes, they responded. Then good, we’ll have that big tree right there. Ahhh the true spirit of Christmas….if you have to spend that much money on a tree, let it help someone else too.

Bringing home the tree

Our Christmas tree story does not end in magical snowy sleigh rides, hot chocolate and log fires in the woods. It ends with a box of cinnamon buns, a $1 frozen yogurt and a coupon for $20 toward my next purchase at IKEA. Yes, I wish I had the magic moments, but I’m kinda glad I didn’t have the magical meltdown or mortgage payment for a Christmas tree like last year. ‘Tis the season! Fingers crossed this tree looks great when we take off the wrapping.

I’m also just crazy enough to think that I’ll finish painting my living room before the Christmas tree goes up. I started my first wall last night. Now that I’ve started it means I have to finish it before family arrives. Or maybe I’ll just keep the lights low and the Christmas spirits flowing ;-)




6 Comments on The Story of the Magical $20 Christmas Tree {OK, it’s not Magical. But it is $20!)

  1. Sara
    December 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Dude, we are twinsies! My parents and I just picked up our tree at Ikea today. I asked for the skinniest, shortest one on the lot, and when we opened it up, it was 5′ 10″ of pure gorgeous! Gotta love the Swedish big box. God jul och många köttbullar för alla! xo

    • Meredith Newberry
      December 9, 2014 at 10:57 am (2 years ago)

      oh boy! I went for the tallest tree — I wonder how ours will unfurl!? Exciting :-)

  2. Susan Sykes
    December 8, 2014 at 9:59 pm (2 years ago)

    The Newberrys are way ahead of the Sykes family in the Christmas department…and I can’t even blame a plague! Hoping I’ll feel more Christmas-y once we get our tree on the weekend! Or maybe I just need some of those Christmas spirits… ;)

    • Meredith Newberry
      December 9, 2014 at 10:57 am (2 years ago)

      Definitely start with the Christmas spirits — it’s gotta help something ;-)

  3. Anne
    December 10, 2014 at 5:38 am (2 years ago)

    So glad to hear the plague is over… and before Santa comes! WHEW!

    Oh how I miss those real trees! It`s been a bone of contention in our house for …. well a long time and for the first 35 years I won…. Anyway, can you detect a little “I`m still not over it”? Anyway the pre-lit tree we bought last year on sale has helped a little. Enjoy your lovely, fragrant, REAL tree and good luck with the living room paint! :) Happy Christmas!

    PS Can`t wait to see the finished LR blog.

  4. Lisa Goulet
    December 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm (2 years ago)

    Sounds like the perfect tree can’t wait to see it all done! Good luck with the painting, sometimes having a time constraint makes you get er done. Lol


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