Then I moved to Arizona, where it was still ninety five degrees at Thanksgiving. No more live trees. Trust me on this one.
Now I’m back home again in Indiana and for a decade, I’ve had artificial trees. I’ve posted pictures of them from time to time. Different themes. I even did one all in pink three years ago.
But this year, I had a friend who might or might not live through the holidays. I needed something to really give her the will, the gumption to keep going. That’s when I came up with the idea for a “blowout” Christmas. Live tree and all.
I had NO idea at the time that due to the guidance and gifting from another friend that I would have the BEST Christmas experience I can remember. First, I had to hire a handyman to transport the tree from the tree farm to my house. This was set up in October.
Once I flew back from Houston at Thanksgiving, we drove far north of town to Pine Tree Country and what I saw was amazing. What an operation. Not only could you ride out to the groves/fields in a horse drawn wagon and pick out your tree, you could opt to cut it yourself or have it cut by one of the crew. When we drove up, there were scads of trees already cut and due to my early in the year arrival, I figured not many people would be around. WRONG. The place was packed.
|Catherine's tree in the wild|
The gift shop was standing room only. Hot cocoa lines were jam packed. And the folks checking out the gorgeous spruce and cedar wreaths were kind enough to get out of the way for my photo op.
Because it had been so long …maybe 1983 when I went to a tree farm, I had not seen all these machines these folks had. Bailing machine. A drill for the trunk. Then they put the stand on right there. All we had to do was get it home and stand it up.
The trip to the country was up and down hilly country roads and I was giddy with excitement. We sang Christmas songs all the way home. It was a moment I will always treasure.
The tree was MUCH heavier than I’d anticipated and it took both of us to get it into the house. Unfortunately, my helper had a lung attack (weak lungs from birth) and after getting out his inhaler, and resting, I had to do most of the work…well, pretty much all of it myself. I strung 1200 lights and put up every glass ornament I’ve collected since I was in high school. That would be…a lot.
This is the final result.
It’s the tree I dreamed about.
And my friend who was in the hospital for 5 weeks, then rehabilitation for another 2 weeks, is coming home and will be here in my house this weekend for a pre-party before the Symphony Christmas Pops Concert.
We had our miracle this Christmas. My friend lived. And I have to think there was some magic in that living Christmas Tree.
So, Rula, what are your plans for your Christmas tree this year? You always have such beautiful decorations and your landscape is always filled with pretty birds and animals. What a respite your home is for you and your family.
|First snow of the 2018 holidays in Rula's backyard|
What an incredible Christmas tree adventure, Catherine! And I'm so glad that you had a Christmas miracle and that your friend is going to be alright. Your tree is absolutely gorgeous and she's going to love it.
I have an artificial tree and it's the same one I bought the year I got married. It's still in pretty good shape! I don't have my tree up yet because I was on a book deadline, but I'm hoping to have it up this weekend. However, we already had our first snow for this holiday season! So, my outside evergreens (and we have many) got decorated with snow :). The photo above was taken in my backyard when the snow first began coming down.
|First snow at Rula's|
And this is a photo of my artificial tree with a mostly woodland theme from a few years ago.
|Rula's tree in 2015|
I did, however, get my door wreath made, though I didn't take a photo yet. This is the second year that I've made it myself using branches from the trees on my property.
|Rula's wreath. Pic taken last year before the door got painted.|
And I plan to make another yule log as part of our holiday tradition. Yum!
I hope everyone has a sweet and loving holiday season!
Oh, and if you're looking for gift ideas or hoping to catch up on reading during the holiday, you know you can't go wrong with books! Any Harlequin Heartwarming sweet romance would be perfect for the holidays.
Catherine's latest in her Shores of Indian Lake series, Rescued by the Firefighter, just released in November and Rula's next release, the final book in her From Kenya, With Love series, The Marine's Return, will be available New Year's Day (Dec 31st ebook/Jan 1st print)!
He can’t be her hero…
But he made a promise to keep her safe
Wounded marine Chad Corallis just wants to be left alone. Until he discovers his best friend’s very pregnant widow is in danger. A dedicated nurse, she refuses to leave her Serengeti medical clinic when it’s threatened by poachers. Chad is honor-bound to protect her, but who will save him from falling for his best friend’s wife?
Rula Sinara's Amazon Author Page
But will he destroy her dreams?
Firefighter Rand Nelson is tall and handsome and has literally walked through an inferno for Beatrice Wilcox. He’s a hero…and that’s exactly the problem. Beatrice knows all too well the risks of loving a man with a dangerous career. But when Rand’s report threatens her beloved children’s camp, Beatrice can’t refuse his offer of help…even though she knows they’re both playing with fire.
Catherine Lanigan's Amazon Author Page