Monday, December 3, 2012

O Tannenbaum!

Despite my love for the Christmas season, I became a little lazy in the holiday decorating department the last couple of years.  Well, new city equals new attitude.  I decided to really go all out.  And by "go all out", I mean buying a Christmas tree.  I'm not about to show you White House caliber decorating or anything, if that's what you were thinking.  I'm still me, and despite some baking skills I've recently honed, I'm still not Martha Stewart. 

Anyway, I started my yuletide home design adventure at Target (where many a great adventure has begun).  Target was not a random choice, as Saturday was the launch of their Neiman Marcus collection.  After I finished hyperventilating over all the beautiful things (the Tracy Reese plates! the Marc Jacobs clutch! the Marchesa dresses!), I finally noticed this beautiful Rodarte ornament and knew I must decorate my entire tree around it. 

Next, I picked up matching bulbs, some lights, and a tree topper and was ready to find the perfect tree.  I considered a fake tree, but when my parents were here for Thanksgiving we kept walking by the tree lots and they smelled wonderful and exactly like Christmas, so I caved and headed to the Castro tree lot on Sunday afternoon. 
My trip to the Christmas tree lot was surprisingly easy, especially when compared to most of the errands I attempt to run in The City.  For instance, I found a legal (this is an important distinction for me) parking spot directly in front of the lot.  This rarely, if ever, happens for me.  I walked in and was immediately approached by a tall, manly gentleman who was quite helpful and friendly, but gave me the distinct impression that he was familiar with the inside of a jail cell (more on that later).  I told him I wanted something small and he led me over to a group of about 15 two and three foot trees.  He must have known that I'm notoriously bad at making decisions because almost immediately he picked a short, stout one and declared it perfect.  I agreed and was ready to make my very first Christmas tree purchase! This was when I found out that real Christmas trees, especially real San Francisco Christmas trees are really freaking expensive.  But it's Christmas!! And my birthday!! So I forked over $40 for a 3 foot tree. Besides, it came with tree stand that was already attached.  And one of the nice, manly employees/convicts carried it to my car (where I had a 30 second internal debate about whether it's appropriate to tip the guy who carries your Christmas tree to your car...I did).  
My tree chillin' like a villain in the Loser.
After a successful trip home, I watered my tree and gave it a little treat in the form of Coca Cola (according to my mother, who knows things like this, trees like pop).  Now came the fun part, the decorations! The most important thing I discover while decorating my tree: real trees smell good, but their needles fall off a lot and it's really annoying and super messy and I already kind of hate my tree and I completely understand my dad would bitch about buying one every year.  

However, the decorating is now done (with only one casualty...a hand-me-down chair that I didn't really like anyway), I've swept up the needles, and my apartment smells amazing, so the tree is back in my good graces.  Plus, it's just so pretty.

Notes: Remember how I thought the tree lot employees looked like convicts? Apparently, I have an eye for such things (as if this is a skill I should be proud of).  Using my stealthy librarian skills (and the brochure given to me upon purchase of my tree), I found out that the lot is run by the Delancey Street Foundation, "a residential self-help organization for former substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who have reached rock bottom".  Delancey Street Foundation uses the lots as a way to educate residents about the basics of sales.  So not only am I feeling great about how pretty my tree looks, but also where I bought it.  Thank you, Delancey Street Foundation and your friendly, helpful employees!

Also, I'd like about four more of these Rodarte ornaments.  If you see any on clearance after the holidays, pick one up for me! And by clearance, I mean at least 75% off because I'm thrifty like that.

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