Operation Christmas Tree

I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off, but I really wanted to get a Christmas tree for the boys since they will be with me for Christmas. I knew I had a tight budget to work with and was hoping that I could use my bonus from the country club to pay for the tree. I was truly grateful I got a bonus. My other two part-time jobs offer nothing in the way of bonuses. Having anything at all in such a situation is a plus.

Last night I told the boys getting a tree was our plan for today, so they were ready to go this morning when we headed out. I had a bunch of ideas running through my head: a real tree? Maybe. I fake tree? Preferable. Cut something down on my father’s ranch for no initial cost, but definitely a trip to the ER? Better not.

Andy wanted a plastic tree because he was worried about allergies. So we stopped at Lowe’s to see what kind of fake trees they had for sale. Nothing. Nothing was on sale even when it was on sale. It was way out of my budget. Come on, $159.00 for a four-foot tree? Nope. Not today.

So we sauntered over to the live trees since they had one for $24. I thought I could afford that. I asked one of the ladies in that area about the trees, she said, “all our trees are for $10 a piece.” That means I could have bought a large one for $10. I was grateful. We found one and they trimmed it, wrapped it up and we carried out it… for only TEN DOLLARS! Can you tell I was excited to get it on sale.IMG_0924

Then we had to load it up on the 2000 Saturn Station Wagon Chick Magnet. It was a small tree, but still too big to fit inside. I figured a few bungee cords would do the trick. Before we left the house, I loaded up my bags of bungee cords and rope. The boys were not satisfied with my bungee cords and pulled out the rope and started tying up the tree. It was quite a feat.

IMG_0926When my Dad saw the tree tied to the top of the Chick Magnet he laughed and asked if I thought I was really going to be able to untie it all. I have to admit, I’m quite proud of both boys. I think they used four ropes in all, and wrapped them back and forth at least twice for each rope. Yes, it did take a while to untie them. But that tree wasn’t going anywhere and for an ex-Coastie, that makes me proud.

Then, we got it inside the house, got it mounted and I started working on the lights. I had planned on using decorations from the storage unit, but when we went out there to get the Christmas-tree stand, I couldn’t find any. I must have thrown them out during the move. Something had to be sacrificed. Good thing Lowe’s was on the way home. We stopped there and bought lights and decorations. I let the boys pick them out and the boys wanted blue and gold ornaments. It looks great.IMG_0925

But the beauty of all this, besides spending all day with my boys having fun, buying a tree, climbing through our storage unit, eating at Whataburger for lunch, and picking out all the ornaments that they wanted, was the entire tree and decorations only cost my $42 total. The beauty: my bonus check was $46 dollars! Yup! I’m getting a latte from Starbucks with the left over. That is a great Christmas-tree experience.

Well, off to make Christmas chocolate chip cookies for the boys. You know what makes chocolate chip cookies Christmas chocolate chip cookies? You make them at Christmas time.