JFF - All About TREES (Xmas, New Years)

Updated on November 05, 2011
R.J. asks from Seattle, WA
23 answers

Okay half a dozen other q's have blown my mind about how many fake trees are out and about. So now my noodle is baking, not only about that, but the rest.

- What kind of xmas (or new years) Tree does your family use? (real, fake, etc?)
- What SIZE?
- How much does it cost?
- Do you decorate it?
- With WHAT?
- When do you put it up / take it down?

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So What Happened?

7' Noble Fir

We decorate w/ lights (colorful), and "special" ornaments. The special ornaments are: We each get 1 new one every year to sort of sum up the year prior, or a joke from the past year (ex: One year I got a glass lobster, because I was going to "get" a lobster as a pet and name him Hermen -joke-. Another year the ornament was from Rome, because it was the first year I'd been to Italy, etc. The year my son was born, my mum got me a Starbucks ornament -no sleep-, etc.))

When? Ha. I always INTEND the day after Thanksgiving. It usually HAPPENS about 2 weeks before xmas. Because it's usually late going up, we wait until a week after New Years to take it down.

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answers from New York on

REAL, about 7 ft. We have friends with an old Christmas tree farm, they have slim pickings but what ever we find we get for about 10$ and once it's up and decorated it looks great! lights and ornanaments, nothing special. It goes up and down whenever ai can get my hubby to participate, usually later to go up then I would like and later to go down then I would like.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

we have a fake tree

its about 10-12 foot tall

I have no clue how much it costed my parents gave it to me they had it before i was born in 1981.

i decorate the bejeezuz out of it

old and new ornaments, home made and sentimental ornaments, beaded strings, tinsel from a bag and paper ring tinsel, old tree shirts and a star on top but thats because i lost my corn husk angel.

i put it up on black friday, no way do i shop!, i take it up new years day

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

I grew up with fake trees so I always wanted a live tree. So the first Christmas we had a new cat and a live tree. After that beast knocked the tree down about ten times, destroyed every ornament on it and even broke several strands of lights I went to a fake tree the next year.

Would you believe our new cat climbs the fake tree? Stupid &^%$%!!!!!

We have nine ft ceilings so both are eight ft trees. I have a pencil tree in the dining room because I believe the front of the house must! have a tree. I have a regular tree in the family room because every family room must! have a tree. You would have thought I would build a house with the family room in front but nope, we started building in July when I wasn't thinking about Christmas. :(

I have had them for four years so not sure of the cost but I want to say around 200 a piece.

I can't stand the prelit trees because there must be a proper light to branch ratio plus they don't go in far enough with the lights to have the depth I prefer. I put the tree together branch by branch adding the lights as I go along to ensure a properly lit tree. :)

Err why is my husband pruning trees in the back yard? Excuse me for a sec....Don't be cutting on my fruit trees, I love you but don't!

Anyway, the pencil tree has white lights as does the front of the house. Oh you would love the front of the house, I get on the roof and use clips so that the lights are perfect with the roof line and exactly 5 inches apart. Then there is a wreath, again strung with white lights that is hung on the gable vent. As you would imagine I made sure that the lights are perfectly spaced so that there are no bright spots.

I swear to god three different psychologist say I am not OCD!

So the pencil tree has no ornaments but has bows and ribbons I made for it. They are also varied specific sizes and go at specific intervals on the tree. If I am in a festive mood I will add baby's breath for balance. :)

So the family tree, has colored lights, again bows and ribbons but also the family ornaments. Silly kids are under the impression these ornaments will go with them when they have a house of their own. Not on their life! Every year since the kids were born I buy them a new ornament plus one family ornament. Still not sure what to do with the ones that have my dipshit ex on them. :( Maybe the kids will want them.....

Did I answer all the questions?

Oh yeah, Christmas is the only time I year I will put out potpori (or however you spell it) because Christmas must smell like Pines. Oh and I have five live Pines in my back yard that I decorate as best I can since they have now hit 40 ft.

Oh and I will start putting them up next weekend but won't light anything until Thanksgiving. Everything is usually taken down before New Years because I am sick of cleaning around them at that point.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

When I lived in a house we got a real tree every year. About 6 feet tall. Decorated with lights and ornaments that we had collected over the years. It cost whatever the boyscouts were charging. The day it went up varied depending on our year. It came down on Jan. 1st, usually.

Now that I live in a very small place, we have a 2 1/2 foot or so artificial tree that fits on top of our livingroom radiator. We decorate it with lights and small ornaments. We put it up as early as my daughter wants to. After the 12 days of xmas are over, I take off the ornaments and replace them with pretty bird ornaments (blue jays and cardinals) and we leave it up until Spring.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I have always loved a live tree, but when our daughter ended up in the hospital with pneumonia brought on by her allergies and asthma.. we no longer have a live one.

I now have a Potted Artificial slim tree, I think with the pot it stand 7 ft tall.
It is beautifully prelit, I think we paid $79. for it at Costco a few years ago.

Our cat loved to lay in the branches.. we did not even know she was in there many times .
It is not nearly large enough to hold all of our ornaments, so we pick and choose. I have been in retail for so long that over the year or ornaments have been very carefully selected. We love every one of them.. many pf our first ornaments were given to us by my husbands grandmothers.. They made many of them.

I have said this a million times, I decorate homes for the holidays so I get to light at least 12 trees a year. Only 2 of my clients will have live trees.

The Tallest tree will be artificial 22 ft tall, she paid $1400 for it about 5 years ago. Her husband actually built a tree stand that spins so we can turn it to decorate all around it. This adds 3 ft to the height..

The most beautiful artificial tree we have ever found is 18 ft high and 8 ft wide at the bottom. The branches are so gorgeous.. She paid $2400 for it about 3 years ago. Her theme is woodsy, Since her living room has lots of blue in it, we were able to incorporate Blues into the tree long with the traditional colors.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I always used real, exept for a couple of lean years when my kids were little I compromised with weird ways of decorating with my budget.
Christmas just needs that pine smell to me, it's such a sweet aroma. When I smell it to this day upon walking into my home or anyone else's with a fresh tree, it brings back zillions of great memories.
Fake tree's dont have aroma, but I'm sure that those that only use fake have other things that will attract the senses memory~ I hope.
Smelling the Christmas tree lots are endearing to me. My stepdad and I worked one a couple of times in my youth, it was SO fun and smelled so good. Even the smell of the flocking gives me great memories.

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answers from Eugene on

Fake. 7 feet tall, and unnaturally skinny which makes it fit perfectly next the the piano in our living room. Cost: $15 from Target during the after-Christmas sale a couple years ago. My boys named it "Chuck the ugly Christmas tree" after the tree in "Charlie Brown's Christmas". I bought it after spending the $$$ on real trees that shed all their needles the week before Christmas. The air is really dry here in winter, even with a humidifier.

Chuck is ugly until we decorate it. Then you don't notice how fake it is under all our beautiful handcrafted (by my 4 kids) ornaments. We throw on tons of lights, the paper plate angel topper, and all the cute craft ornaments with baby photos of my kids. It goes up right after Thanksgiving and we leave it up as long as we like since it doesn't dry out. Last year we enjoyed Chuck through January.

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answers from Honolulu on

Here, it costs about $70 for that height. Noble Fir.
We decorate it with ornaments I have had and made myself since childhood, and with photo ornaments of my kids, which I have had made from www.kodakgallery.com, since they were born. Every year, I make/order from Kodak, photo ornaments of them. Then will give them their photo ornaments when they are grown up and have their own tree and family. The photo ornaments are real special, my kids love them and it shows, every year, how they are growing up and changing.

Also decorate it with garlands and lights and other ornaments. Mostly all hand-made. And those that my kids made in school.

We take it down, after New Years. As most people here, do.
We put it up, and buy it, once the trees are on sale around here.

I also put on the tree, a "pickle ornament"... which per some cultural tradition... when a child finds it, they then get an extra present/prize.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Live frasier fir.
Usually in the 8-9 foot range.
Anywhere between $50-80 depending on if we end up getting it from Lowe's or a tree lot. We are in the south, and they are ALL pricey...
Usually put it up the week after Thanksgiving, or within the first 5 days of December (depending on how Thanksgiving falls).
Take it down the first week of January and take it to where our church's epiphany service will be held, for it to be burned then.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Except for living overseas, we have always had a real tree, until this coming December. We have bought 8 feet tall trees, either at a nursery or tree farm, Frasier Firs, around $80, or a little more, and we put them up after my son's birthday the first week of December. He's not here now, since he's in college, so his birthday won't apply anymore.

My husband puts on the lights, and I put on the ornaments. When my kids were younger, they would put on the ornaments, and after they went to bed, I reworked everything. Our ornaments are partly from their childhood, partly from ones I bought over the years, and partly gifts. I still regret so much losing a bunch of them when our tree fell years ago.

Living overseas, we had a fake tree, barely 5 feet tall, and though it was better than no tree at all, I really missed a big tree. I would still have a real tree, but we travel so much around the time, that we miss most of the "life" of the tree and it ends up mostly dead right after Christmas. So we've decided to go ahead and get a pre-lit tree. It was close to $400, so I hope it will last 5 years to have made it worth buying. We will STILL put lights on it, because I like colored lights, and different shaped lights, but I won't have to worry about it dying on me.

I like taking it down on New Years Day, or as soon as we return from our trip. With a real tree, I am almost desperate to get it out of the house because I think it's going to spontaneously combust or something! This year, though, it will just be "time" and I won't feel like it's such a burden.

And Jo W, I gotta say I really enjoyed reading your post! If only I were like that - my husband would love it if decorating were that important to me! However, I would have to pay someone to do the outside work! I couldn't get near the roof if someone's life depended on it, and I won't let my husband! LOL!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

REAL -either Frasier, Noble, or Douglas fir (usually Frasier) OR some years we cut our own Leland Cyprus at a tree farm


around $100 depending on the type and where we get it -if cutting a cyprus it's cheaper, but we usually get a pre-cut fir at a place here called Pike Nursery. We've found and friends have found that their trees stay fresh for a loooooong time!

We decorate with cherished ornaments my mother gave to me my whole life and the few I have from my grandmother's tree where I spent every Christmas. We give our boys ornaments every year, and my mother continued that tradition with my husband and me until she passed away a few years ago. I also do a yearly cookie exchange and ornament exchange with my closest girlfriends every year, and I have tons of really cool ornaments from them and other friends.

I also put tons of both white and multi-colored lights on it -including the fat, retro/tacky multicolored bulbs (LOVE THOSE). We put up the tree on the Fri, Sat or Sun after Thanksgiving. I usually devote the Friday after T-day to us getting all the outside lights and decorations up (our street looks like Christmas Vacation). We take it down the day after New Year's Day -Jan. 2nd. I love my tree! You could take a lot about Christmas away from me, but I'm going to have a tree!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We are fakers here. Only because REAL ones cost my arm, leg and half a boob.

Um....I think it is a 5 foot tree....I am not sure, honestly though. My sister left her tree here, when they moved. I put it up last year....but can not for the life of my remember.

It was free for me....My sista did not want to have to move it with them...So she left it for us!!

Heck yes we get that baby all fancy. My mother in Law and I went to a Christmas Expo like four years in a row. And she bought me some freaking sweet Ornaments. So the ones that have NOT been BROKEN get put on the tipy top. And then my kids normally put their favorite action figures.....and Imaginex guys on the lower portion(why I do not know but it is sweet...it is like their way of adding who they are to the tree)

I am allowed to put it up after Thanks Giving. It is killing me though. This is my favorite time of year. I would put it up the day after halloween if my hubby was not such a bum about the earliness of it.

I comes down the day after new years.

I love this time of year. It makes me warm and I just am so stinkin' happy to be around this year!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Real, 7 ' Noble Fir, $75, love my decorations from our travels or that my daughter made through the years, It can't go up more than two weeks before Christmas and will be gone by December 26th.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Real. Upon my husband's insistence! ;) Actually I don't mind it, they are nice to have and then I don't have to store it! We usually like the white pine. I like a nice, big, fluffy tree. I'd have to say it's usually 7', I think we have 8' foot ceilings so that sounds about right. We usually spend about $60 or so and we decorate it with both colored and white lights and a whole bunch of ecclectic ornaments. I love to collect ones that speak to me, have a connection or joke or remind us of a trip we took. I like my tree to look glittery and fun! We usually get it about 2-3 weeks before Christmas and take it down around New Year's. We're hesitant to buy one too early for fear of it dying or drying out too much!

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answers from Dallas on

Fake... otherwise I can't breath through the holidays. We get a new one every 5 or 6 years. It's 7 ft and flocked with what looks like ice crystals so it sparkles.

I bought it end of season a few years ago for $100.

I decorate it with red and gold glitter balls and 12 inch sparkling candy canes. Then I add the ornaments my daughter has made, the picture frames I have of her from each year since her first Christmas, and fill in with random ornaments we gathered over the years.

We put it up the day after TG and take it down new years day.

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answers from Syracuse on

REAL tree - Balsam Fir
Usually about 7' tall
Anywhere from $30-$50 /costs more (50-60) if we cut it ourselves from a farm
We decorate with lots of ornaments, some new and some very old from when we were little and white lights, star on top
We put it up 3 weeks before XMas and take it down a few days after XMas

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

ok i'll play :) ours is fake. we bought it on clearance after christmas one year. i want to say it was about a $200 tree and we paid like $30 for it. seriously! i think it's about 6 1/2 feet tall or so, prelit, white lights. i bought clearance decorations last year (sensing a theme?? lol) but i can't remember what color they are - i think maybe that light blue color, with silver? i am excited because most of our stuff has always just been hodgepodge, hand-me-downs, or whatever we can find cheap, and this year everything will match. except the special family ornaments, which we have quite a few, each year we get a couple more. some are ones my son has made in school, etc too. our livingroom is pretty tiny and this year it's even more crowded, since i have a treadmill now that i am using a lot, and i'm not willing to give that up :) i will probably have to move furniture out of the livingroom to put it up, so i doubt we will put it up super early. maybe a couple weeks before. and it's usually put away a week or so after, but i am pretty laid back about it. it's pretty. and putting it up takes work lol. so i'm not usually in a huge hurry ;) i am VERY excited for christmas this year, however (already have 90% of christmas morning done, just have to get extended family, work stuff, etc) so it's possible it might go up early...depends on my mood! :)

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answers from Phoenix on

Fake- 7 foot- lights and ornaments. We put it up the day after Thanksgiving and take it down the day after Christmas. =)

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answers from Columbia on

We use a fake blue spruce I got from Lowe's four years ago. It was a $599 tree and I got it for $125. It's 10 feet tall, but I simply don't use the bottom tier and it's a 6 and a half foot pre lit tree. There are about 1400 lights on it.

We decorate with ornaments which have been in our family for generations. I tend to add a few each year for the kids. I also like using wide, pretty ribbon as garland. And of course, we have our angel at the top. Some people insist on a star, but we love our beautiful angel with gilded wings.

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answers from Boston on

Fake, 7 feet tall (although that last foot is a stretch), it probably cost me about $100 on sale on Black Friday when I bought it 10 years ago, it's pre-lit. It's pretty small but was to scale for the apartment I had then and I like that it doesn't take up too much space (husband is Jewish so I minimize interior decorations).

I decorate first by running a cranberry-colored velvet ribbon about 2" wide in and out of the branches around the tree (in a spiral but tucked deep into the branches) and then follow that with strands of small silver, gold, and pearl beads, some which have stars in them. Over that go some small velvet bows (also cranberry) and then little "snow dipped" pine cones. Then the ornaments, most which I got from a tree trimming party I hosted when I first got the tree, and some that I bought for a special reason or received as gifts over the years so they all have memories. Finally, a lighted start on top and a silver skirt at the bottom.

Put up a week or two before Christmas, take down on New Year's day.

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answers from Cincinnati on

3-4 ft
Ornaments only, no lights
Put it up 1 week after thanksgiving
Comes down the weekend after xmas.


answers from Medford on

This is when I show my true "crazy out of your mind personality". Its my favorite time of year. I have a fake tree we bought a few days after Christmas about 10 or 12 years ago. It was $175 and I paid $25. Its 7 1/2 feet tall and about 8 feet wide at the bottom, so its huge compared to most fake trees. it had real pine cones wired to some branches but they are almost all gone after years of use. Its very full, fat, and thick, and most people cant tell its fake even before ornaments and lights go on. And I do LIGHTS! about 1000 or more. Almost always white lights but now and then colors. I like only a few to twinkle so most of the time its solid lights. I have well over 700 ornaments and they cant all go on the tree unless I have it in the middle of the room and can get to all sides. All the ornaments have special meaning, or are hand made, trinkets or funny things to remind of of things that happend in our lives that year. We have the very first bottle of insulin my daughter had when she was diagnosed at 12. I wired the first syringe she used for her shot to the top of the bottle and added a red ribbon and hook. I have a wooden plaque with all the funny things decopaged from birthday cards the year my husband turned 50. Over the Hill, Old Man, Ancient, 50s all over it. Its funny. I even have a clear glass ornament with a tiny copy of the check I received from an aunt's inheritance that meant a lot to me. And the one that my daughter hates, is a clear glass ball with the 25 staples from my incision when I had a hysterectomy. But it was a BIG deal in my life that year and its not all about her,,lol. We try to get the tree up soon after Thanksgiving. I decorate a lot for Chistmas. No other holidays, just Christmas, and only the main living room and kitchen garden window. I take everythng down. Pictures, art work, stuff on shelves, pillows, throws, rugs,,and replace with all Christmas stuff. Even the clock is changed out to one with Santa and a tree. I have a lot of hand made things I put out. Reindeer I painted, cross stitch pieces, bowling pin painted to look like a nutcracker soldier. I even have a collection of paper back books with Christmas stories I get out, and usually re-read a couple. The wreath with all gingerbread stuff goes on the front door and next to it is the kitchen window so the garden window gets it own 3 ft tree with all gingerbread ornaments and decorations all around the base of it.It includes my favorite gift a friend gave me of a 2 ft tall gingerbread boy with a big grin on his face. As you walk up my front sidewalk to the door you see all this and I love it! Now, because I used to do craft fairs I always had to have a variety of trees in different sizes to suit the space I had so I do have several other trees. I also found that different places in my house could use a different tree instead of the same huge big fat tree we love, so I have about 15 trees to choose from. (I can see you rolling your eyes now) I did let my grand daughter have a small tree on an end table the last couple years so she could decorate and undecorate any time she wanted and it kept her busy and away from the big tree for weeks! So basically I put up one big tree,, and a small one somewhere for her, and a small one in the kitchen window. But the house always looks so festive when done. It takes me a week or more to get it all out, and Ive been known to take the tree down on St Patricks Day. Valentines Day, and Superbowl Sunday.. I like the smell of tree farms, but love the scent of a maple brown sugar candle on a candle warmer more. This year Im not sure how it will go, since we should close escrow the middle of Dec and move. The new house has a giant arched window in the front room looking toward the street so its a perfect spot for a tree. I wont have a garden window, and not sure how I will put out my 100 nutcrakers and all the collections of angels, snowmen, santas, and other things. I will have 2 rooms to decorate since its a separate living room and family rooms. But it will be fun to figure it all out Im sure. It just wont happen as soon as I usually like. Waiting is killing me,,lol....


answers from Cincinnati on

I have never had a real tree.
We've had a pre-lit 6 foot tree ($100) for about 6 years. But we moved this year, and our home has tall ceilings! I am going to get a 9 foot tree this year and go big!

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