The street vendors have set up temporary shop hawking their real trees for sale. These began to go up in various parts of the city a couple of days before Halloween. I browsed around a tree lot the other day just out of idle curiosity and because I really do love the fragrance of real trees. There was a sign that advertised that the tree price tags started at $40.00 and this was for one that appeared to be about four feet tall, but it was a nicely filled out tree with healthy looking branches and a lovely color of outdoor green. These guys make a bundle out there selling Christmas trees. Some vendors set up mock North Pole surroundings to entice families shopping with the kiddies. Some will serve you hot cocoa and cookies as a treat and give away complimentary boxes of peppermint candy canes to adorn your brand new tree, but of course the price of your tree is in direct relation to the goodies you receive. It was all quite jolly!
The price tags ran as high as $100.00. Wow. That's a lot of love for a fragrant tree and the smell of pine wafting through your house, with the added bonus of vacuuming up remembrances until springtime. I'm not sure hot cocoa and sugar cookies could compensate for that many gold nuggets. But its all in what you want...or like...or can afford.
As far as decorating my own home goes I haven't started yet. Last year I started the Monday after Thanksgiving and had a beautiful tree filled with wonderful new and traditional old ornaments (the tree was artificial of course), a fabulous custom-made fireplace mantle swag, I hung up silk stockings that I didn't dare fill for fear of snagging the darling things, and a gorgeous door wreath (also custom made) adorning the front door. Each and everything that was used was color coordinated to match. Candles abounded in the living areas and lightly scented cinnamon-apple filled oil burners lent a totally cozy and festive aura to the home. Oh yes...Casa De Keen was dressed in Christmas finery and it was lovely.
Today the grands asked me when I was going to put up the tree, and when I shrugged and said "don't know" they responded with a chorus of protests and all because of course they are looking forward to helping to don the tree. Besides, didn't I just put those things away a few weeks ago? Is it time to do it all over AGAIN? Remember how we always say when we put the decorations and the tree away that it'll be a long time before we have to look at that stuff again? I say it every year and every year I have the same reaction when the holiday rolls around again..."is it Christmas...AGAIN?
Last year I got it done so quickly the grands didn't realize they didn't help. Now all of those lovely decorations are stored upstairs in my attic, carefully put there by a good friend who used to live next door but does not live there now. I am not about to go up those steps and try lugging down the storage totes all by myself. So, I'll just sit by and wait for a magical elf to bring them down for me; either right before my eyes perhaps needing a bit of instruction, or maybe I'll come downstairs one morning soon and viola! the totes will all be there waiting for me!
Since this is unlikely to happen, I'll enlist the help of family to lug them down and then I'll not have an excuse not to decorate. It won't look or feel the same as last year, but it'll be enchanting and lovingly done with the help of the grands, and then hopefully some of that enchantment will rub off on me and zap me into the commercial spirit of the season. I could sure use a healthy dose of enchantment.