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***THIS MIGHT SOUND LIKE THE GIRL WHO CRIED WOLF BUT I HAVE BEEN TOLD- THAT MY SITE WILL EXPERIENCE SOME INSTABILITY BETWEEN TONIGHT AND EARLY TOMORROW MORNING AS THE TRANSITION IS PREPARING FOR THE NEW SITE, I MAKE NO PROMISES BUT WANTED YOU TO GIVE A UP A HEADS UP, I WILL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT***

Hello friends from very cold New York (high of 40’s with a wicked wind)! I first want to announce the winner of the Horchow holiday guest towel giveaway. Congratulations goes to

#84 SUSAN JOHNSTONE

Please contact me at theenchantedhome@gmail.com so your gift can be on it’s way.

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I am so happy today is Sunday, for many reasons. This past week was insanely busy but in a good productive kind of a way and it’s truly been non stop. I need this day of not having an agenda other than to start setting my Thanksgiving table. I am completely intimidated seeing how many on Instagram are not only decorated for Thanksgiving but Christmas!!!! Talk about feeling behind….OK so I am slow out of the starting gate, but it will get done.

Had a few wake up calls this week that the holidays are HERE! Passing a few local shopping centers this past week and seeing even their holiday decorations out gave me a nudge to get busy. So at the very least I will start going through what I and “assessing”. My approach to holiday decorating is always done piece meal, here and there when I have small windows of time, in the end it does get done:)

Then my mom surprised me when she said “can’t wait to see you next week’. I did a double take…WHAT? Thanksgiving is next week???  I have had my head in the ornament world and didn’t even realize it’s next week…thankfully the only major “to do” is getting my meal squared away. We will be 8 so its manageable and I always look forward to this special holiday of family togetherness. Very excited my college son flies in tomorrow night….all my little birdies are coming home to the nest!

OK….now it’s time for my Seven on Sunday and here we go-

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1 ORNAMENT CENTRAL I have been eating, breathing and dreaming of blue and white ornaments…we have gotten over hundreds and hundreds of orders out and I must say I never got tired of seeing them. I cannot wait to start decorating my own tree! I have enjoyed getting in some pictures of how my talented customers are starting to use them, always fun to see peoples excitement over them.

(I had more to add but with the transition of my site as of Sunday was not able to add any more pictures to this post I had worked on earlier this week so there are a few…..)

 

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I had this tiny Christmas tree from when my son was younger and wanted his own in his room so I put it in my office and added some of the ornaments to it…can I say I am smitten? Cannot wait to decorate my “real” tree….hopefully soon after Thanksgiving, one holiday at a time:)

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2. HOLIDAY CHEATS. I am all for making things as easy as possible over the holidays. Let’s face it there are many things to which there are no shortcuts so when you can find them, by all means take advantage! I do this a lot, you can-use a cookie cutter or small glass. Take a store bought cake, bread, whatever and create small individual personal servings. Everything looks cuter and more edible in small amounts right?

In this case a friend was topping by for impromptu visit and all I had on hand was a store bought coffee cake in a generic tin and berries. So I added the berries to my individual little coffee cakes, a bit of powdered sugar and it actually looked really pretty (forgot to take pic with berries) The presentation is so much prettier, never look at a whole cake or pie the same again lol.

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3. THANKSGIVING INSPIRATION. I desperately need this, because now that I am now working full time I just don’t have the luxury of time and I am still seeking to find that balance. I am not expecting that to change much until after Christmas so every hour counts. Weekends were never so anticipated as they are now! Thought I would share these beautiful pictures of Thanksgiving tables for inspiration…..

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4 INSTAGRAMS OF INTEREST. Never at a loss of finding incredible images to share with you from Instagram. It’s a guilty pleasure, and after a long tiring day to sit  back and visit this land of beauty and  inspiration on my iPad is a real treat and visual “getaway”.  Here is what got my attention this week-

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5. TWO OF MY FAVORITE THINGS. Fall and Teddy! Went for a walk last week and Teddy was in the mood to  ham it up, he looked positively regal against the stunning fall foliage backdrop. Teddy take it away….

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I hope what they say about seeing a lot of acorns on the ground being indicative of a big snow fall for the coming winter isn’t true because I never recall seeing so many acorns as I did on this walk….yikes!

6. FAUX VS. REAL. Every year I buy a fresh Christmas tree, I love the whole experience though really liked it when my kids were young, eager to accompany me and it was always a big and much looked forward to outing. Now it’s normally  a solo outing squeezed into my daily errands which is fine but it’s just become another “to do”  to add to my list. I have been considering buying a faux tree though I vowed I never would.

The fact that so many come pre lit is a huge huge bonus, just thinking of not having to deal with tangled lights or the mysterious inevitable missing bulb makes me giddy!

So here is where I would love your input. Do you have any recommendations? A few that I seem to come across often are these are from Frontgate and Balsam Hill.  I was admittedly kind of  shocked at the prices, they are “up there” but if I am going to buy one, it’s going to be a good one and the most realistic I can find. I feel like it’s giving up that heavenly Christmas tree smell for ease and  convenience. Humm………..

 

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 Then I saw these and I love this look and can see my blue and white ornaments looking fabulous….it is referred to as a “frosted” tree-

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7. SUNDAY’S SURVEY. So in continuing on the subject of Christmas trees, for those of you who put up a tree, curious as to whether you purchase a real tree every year or use a faux tree (sounds better than fake:)

I am really torn on what to do but do want to make up my mind very soon as I am hoping to start  decorating in the next week or so.  Please check which best applies and I left a blank space if you want to fill in with a manufacturer that would you recommend. or you think is worth checking out….

 

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Anything here get your attention? So where are you on the holiday decorating front? Feeling the pressure? Funny I never even thought about it well after Thanksgiving but being immersed in the blogging/Instagram world, things are on a fast track for sure.

While I certainly admire anyone who is already fully decorated (OK with maybe a teeny bit of envy) I don’t look at it as a competition and will continue to do things at my own pace as I have for a while. Just doing the best I can:) Thank you as always for stopping by and making me a part of your Sunday routine. Wishing you a great day and end to your weekend. Until next time……

PS The warehosue blowout part 1 ends later today, still some great deals to be had click here if you missed it.

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Suzy U. on

Tina, I love the coffee cake short cut. Thanks. Here’s my favorite shortcut: Purchase a Dean and DeLuca cinnamon Bobka, Prepare a quick Bourbon Sauce, and spread a few tablespoons on a dessert plate. Place a slice of Bobka with a drizzle on top. Snap! You’ve gone from breakfast bread to gourmet dessert. Also, I went to “the dark side” and purchased a faux tree about 5 years ago. Never looked back. You can buy Christmas Tree smell candles and sprays. Sending warmest Thanksgiving wishes to all.

Eve on

Always look forward to your posts. We always had a real tree, but as we got older, we decided to get a faux one. It is perfect fit for the den. We still decorate it with all favorite ornaments. I love the look of “designer” trees, but it would not be Christmas if we didn’t hang our family ornaments. The Santa with camera (our oldest son loved photography), the airplane (for our son who became an airline pilot), the birds and birdhouses ( our youngest son is an avid birdwatcher), my deceased mother-in-law’s ornaments As we hang each ornament, we reflect on the meaning of each one. Beautiful memories.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving with your family. We all have much to be thankful for!

Richard on

We have had faux trees since live trees went up to $100.00. We gave out last faux tree to our church thrift shop before moving to Florida. I bought Balsam Hill’s Snap Tree the base is on wheels that lock. The top is separate and light weight. The carton with the two pieces in red storage bags was very heavy so I opened it in the driveway and wheeled the bottom of the tree over the cobble stones into the garage. I am sure it will be easy to roll it from the garage through the front door and snap the bottom up and add the top and decorate. A lot easier than carrying three heavy sections of the previous faux trees up from the basement.

Amy on

We (I), put up two large trees every year and LOVE looking at and smelling them. We put one in our family room because that’s where we are most of the time and one in our living room as that is where we are Christmas Day. I love the tradition but like you, I am now the only one doing the trees as the kids are all in college and the hubby is at work. SO, the thought of switching to faux has crossed my mind! Would love to see your reseRch results as to where to get the BEST, most realistic, trees. Thanks so much and Happy Thanksgiving!

Caryn on

Tina, I always had a real tree while my children were growing up. I ended up buying a faux tree after they were in college. I worked for an antique & home furnishings store & was able to purchase a beautiful pre lit tree like the ones we had in the store. It made my decorating much easier. Every year a friend and I have a Christmas Tea the first Sunday in December. This is our 27th year to host our friends. Being able to put up the tree “early” makes my entertaining easier.

barbara sumner on

We do one large fake tree every year in the living room with grande ceilings after our real one crashed to the ground one year smashing ornaments etc. then we put a small real one in the family room that is only allowed home made gifts. My daughter started making her own gifts years ago and the tradition continues. Yes, it is a lot of work but she loves it and there is great fun on xmas eve as we open them. Some funny and cute; games, gags etc. and my husband and I do simple things like a homemade family recipe book, sachets, blow darts…

Sherry on

We love the Christmas season we have all of our decorating done by Thanksgiving. We have switched to pre lit trees so we can enjoy the decorations a little longer. I must say I do miss the real tree smell . Two thin ones on each side of the fireplace and a large one in the den/ dinning room . Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving. As always it is a treat to see Teddy !!

Meg A on

We’ve been real tree people all our lives but we found that here in CO, despite diligent effort, they just turned into a dried out, fire hazard, mess. Soooo I bit the bullet and bought a Frontgate prelit faux tree. I am a TOTAL convert!!!!!! We have loved the tree for four years now and it is still as gorgeous as ever. Guests mistake it for a real tree. In fact, I just bought another one for our lower level. They go together easily and with a bit of fluffing (especially the first time) are gorgeous. I was concerned at first with how the deep section of the stems are wrapped, but after fluffing and decorating it looked fabulous. Definitely heavy though. My house helper crew is coming today so we will get the tree and 35 garlands up. Decorating begins right after Thanksgiving. Good luck with everything! I’m determined to get it all done by Dec. 1st so that I can enjoy the full season.

Corinne on

Glad you did this post and questionnaire. I am in the same boat as you and look forward to reading the results and others opinions, especially what brand they prefer.

Jayne ZabaLa on

I absolutely hate spiders and unfortunately one or two or more always hitch hike into the house with fresh trees. Consequently, I switched to faux pre-lighted a couple of years ago and love them. You can always add a few real branches around the hose fir that fir tree smell .

Leslie on

Bought a Balsam Hill at the end of last season and it is great. It’s the most realistic faux tree we have ever had. It is very well lit. We used to have faux trees customized with tons of lights so I was concerned that the prelit trees would not be bright enough. It turned out to be the opposite. We are thrilled that we no longer have to wrestle with connecting the lights in the sections – just plug and play

Maria on

We have an unashamedly plastic 24″-or-so tabletop tree as the focal point of every Christmas.

I star in the family legend about the time barely-walking-me grasped an ornament on our live tree, pulled the whole thing down on myself, and dropped on all fours to race away because that was faster. Ended up at the end of the hall, babbling to myself (wasn’t talking so well yet either) and covered in angel hair.

Taking this lesson to heart and also living in a small house, husband and I went with a little artificial tree in a protected area when our sons were young. When they were 14 and 11 we built and moved into our current home. Now, in addition to having room for a gloriously tall live tree, we had children who could be trusted to leave it upright. Our sons, however, were so attached to our little tree that they wouldn’t hear of another one instead of or even in addition to it. “But this has always been *the tree*!!!” And so it remains. Though they’re now in their twenties and out on their own, their attachment to a childhood memory graces our home throughout the season.

frances on

I always had a real tree, but now that we live in a small apartment, it just wasn’t realistic anymore. I searched high and low and ended up buying a Martha Stewart tree at Home Depot. I think the one I have is called Blue Spruce, but there were many options. This was about five years ago, so I’m not sure what they have now, but it might be worth checking out. It’s so easy to set up and the hubs likes not having to deal with tree stands and lights. Just a note since you mentioned Balsam Hill, I had a less than optimal experience with them and had to get the credit card company involved.

I always decorate the second weekend in December and take it all down on January 6th (little Christmas).

Celia Becker@ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com on

I know I say it often but I so look forward to waking up on Sunday to your 7 on Sunday. It’s always so inspirational and uplifting. I wanted to mention that your coffee cake idea is brilliant! You took a store bought item and transformed it into something really special. And, I’m going to try and follow your lead and not be intimidated in this crazy holiday season by all the people in cyberspace that make everything look so seamless and perfect, already. I’m just going to enjoy the great inspiration and do my best, as time flies by so quickly this time of year. Happy happy holidays to you and your’s.

Jura Kybartas on

I also switched to a faux tree. Just so we can have it up longer to enjoy, the tree is pre-lit makes life much simpler in all the chaos xmas brings. A small tip to get around that fresh evergreen smell you get from a live tree. I pick up cut branches at my local nursery, arrange them in vases throughout the house, and I am able to enjoy the smell and they last for weeks.

Roxanne on

The best place for our tree is in a bay window with a south west exposure, right near a heat vent. Real trees dried out in a matter of days and by Christmas were a fire hazard, so we went to a faux tree several years ago. One advantage is the strong branches that easily hold the heavier ornaments. I still have mixed feelings, but I think it was a good choice. Looking forward to your Christmas decor photos! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wendy Sievers on

Hi Tina. I just wanted to let you know that I look forward to your posts each week. I enjoy sitting down with my coffee and letting a little beauty wash over me as I enjoy your photos. I wanted to put in my two cents about real vs. fake trees. I was of the same mindset as you – never fake – until we spent $130 on a live tree only to have it die by Christmas day. So, I took the plunge and purchased an artificial tree a few years back and have not regretted it. A high quality artificial tree looks beautiful every year. I am able to decorate it early (the day after Thanksgiving) and enjoy it all the way through till New Years without the worry of it drying out. This gives me the chance to decorate during Fall Break (I’m a teacher) and have it all done before school starts again. What I miss is the scent of a real tree, so I always buy a live wreath and garlands to place around the house to bring that Christmas pine scent into the house. I purchased mine locally so I could see it in person, but I have ordered garlands from Balsam Hill and they are gorgeous. (Check out their website and see the photos of the Ellen Show that they decorated – so beautiful. I know Frontgate has great quality, too, if you go that route. Can’t wait to see what you decide – I’m sure it will be beautiful either way.

Janet on

Tina — I always loved my fresh tree, even the ones that were less than perfect, but a few years ago when we began traveling to the grandkids so they could have Christmas at home, I was very uneasy about leaving a fresh tree up while we were gone. I bought a pre-lit tree from Balsam Hill and I love it! I worried it was a little skimpy in the box, but decked out with all my glass ornaments it’s really pretty. I always have some fresh greenery around and burn scented candles, so all is not lost. Yes it’s a little different but it hasn’t dampened my holiday joy.
Love the cake trick! I can’t wait to try it!

Barbara Kelly on

Hi Tina.

My children and grandchildren are at my home for Christmas Eve.
Married children are between homes during Christmas.
I have used a small table top tree for years and other Christmas decorations throughout the house,
The faux trees on QVC are beautiful. Have been tempted to buy one for my
new home, have the perfect spot for a larger tree.

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving with your family and Toby.

Meg on

Tina I love your little tree in the office with your beautiful ornaments. Got mine last week and they are so much more beautiful in person. I cannot way to decorate with the, we always decorate our tree Thanksgiving night (when all the family is in to help)!
Also great tip for the mini cakes, I am definitely going to use that tip.

Regarding trees, we have one smaller, about 7 foot in our foyer which we always buy fresh but our big tree almost 13 feet is in our great room, we bought it at Frontgate a few years ago and it is very grand I cannot tell you enough how nice it is to not have to fuss with lights and needles and remembering to water,etc….

I highly recommend a faux tree as just get a good one since it will probably be the only one you get. Frontgate, Balsam Hill are a few and my sister found are a really nice one on Houzz. Love that frosted look it is so beautiful. Can’t wait to see your decor. Enjoy your Sunday.

Jana Rinehart on

Tina,
We always bought fresh tree until one year when the tree became so dry, I was afraid to turn the lights on it the day before Christmas. We bought it early and watered exactly as you should. I took it down the day after Christmas and went shopping for a real looking Faux tree. We found a wonderful one that we used for 20 plus years…still looks good at my daughters house. I decided to buy one of the slim ones last year and love it. It is 8 feet tall and looks gorgeous with all my ornaments on it. Go to the dark side…find one you love and enjoy it. I am decorating my Christmas tree in our farmhouse right now. Happy Thanksgiving Tina to you and your family.

Mo at Mocadeaux on

The holidays certainly are sneaking up on us! We have a pre-lit faux tree (that DOES sound much better than “fake”). I love having the tree up but miss having my daughter home to help hang the ornaments. Another reality of the empty nest!

Kelley Taylor on

When we moved to the country last year, I vowed to never buy artificial trees or greens again. We buy from a local woman who cuts and arranges everything to order, so everything is perfectly fresh right up until Christmas. I consider it a great luxury to have all fresh greens and trees in the house. I will never go back to using artificial.

Personally, we prefer to decorate the first or second week of December. I think Thanksgiving is too early, and decorating a bit later makes it easier to keep things looking fresh.

As far as faux trees, we used to have a quite large one when we lived in the suburbs. We did buy one from Frontgate about 5 or 6 years ago, but found the base of the tree rather flimsy and tippy. We set it up, didn’t like it, boxed it up and sent it back. We then purchased one locally with a more sturdy base. Perhaps they have upgraded the bases on the trees now, but I would definitely check the sturdiness of the base. You don’t want your tree falling over with all your beautiful new ornaments on it.

Deanna on

The pictures of Teddy outside are gorgeous. You have to have taken photography classes somewhere because my pics do not come out the way yours do. Breathtaking! I, like you, have faithfully bought a real Christmas tree every year and I’m still planning on doing that for a while but… I go Christmas crazy and have a tree in every room. My family room has two. All of the others are faux. Some year I want to place presents beside various trees and go from room to room and open them but… family traditions are tough to break and with my daughter’s wedding happening in March, Christmas will likely become more streamlined.
I think you should go faux. I live by the Frontage outlet and their trees are crazy beautiful. Just do it! You can always make the house smell Christmasy by placing some real branches somewhere close by.
Thanks for the Sunday beauty!!

Kathy on

We bought a Frontgate prelit tree on wheels two years ago. We had always had real trees, but like everyone else, after our children finished college and left home, we decided to go faux and are so glad we did! We love the convenience, but do miss that wonderful smell. But, there are so many candles that scent the air with that “Christmasy” smell! As far as decorating goes, there is a firm rule in our house that no Christmas decorations are put out until after Thanksgiving!! We have always loved the gathering of family for Thanksgiving and love honoring the special Autumn decorations that accompany this special celebration. Our children also honor this tradition in their homes.
It may put us a little behind in decorating for Christmas, but it is nice that each holiday is given its due. I love your site and draw so much inspiration from your exquisite taste and ideas!!

Donna on

Made the switch to arfificial a few years ago…..BUT…TA DA!……….saw a tree at Ace Hardware that I adored, so bought that one and had my nephew help me put it together today. I love it!!!

It has 2 different size light bulbs on it…….the regular expected ones and then what I call cosmetic lights, the small round ones also. The balance of lights is perfect!

The tree is frosted and only 8ft tall, but has so much personality.

Don’t hesitate, scower the internet and find your frosted tree!

leigh on

We had a real Christmas tree for years and loved it but we have had a faux Chrismas tree for years now, and I love it! They have scent sicles you can buy now to hang inside all around your tree and it will smell like the real thing….they come in different scents! Just wonderful! Merry Merry…..whatever you decide to do!

ArEll on

Tina, I really loved the idea you had with the coffee cake. Brilliant! I never would have thought of that. I hope that I can remember your creativity the next time I have guests!

We have been using a faux tree for about 10 years and while I too miss going with my girls to get a fresh tree, it is so easy with the faux tree. And no dropping needles to clean up! And the branches hold up the ornaments even if they are a little heavy. Something that I had to be careful of with fresh trees.

Joan Grier on

Dear Tina..We have used a faux tree for years (of humble origins) – always the same one and I love it..the joy for me is in the ornaments and their significance.. you see it lit in the window from the street and it is like a little “Soul Glow” in the house

Shelly Mathes on

Hey Tina, just my husband and me. We purchased 2 minature faux trees several years ago, I am happy with those little beauties, won’t go back to the real deal even though we miss them. You can buy those scentsicles and hang on the tree, going to try that. QVC as well as Balsam Hill have beautiful trees. Good Luck to you and Happy Thanksgiving.

Katie Clooney on

Hello, dear Tina. Tried several times to get through yesterday and knew you were having troubles with your new look. I’m sure you are like me – a love/hate relationship with technology. Anyway, as always, it was well worth the wait. Love all the eye candy but my fave is all the pics of sweet Teddy. Have a fabulous week and a relaxing Thanksgiving!!

Susan B on

Thanks you for the beautiful tablescape pictures, how wonderful to sit down to a gorgeous table at Thanksgiving. Our family has a large, faux tree for the family room off the kitchen and we buy a 5 foot real tree for our reading/pool room. It lights up the room beautifully and the fragrance is wonderful!!! I decorate the tree with glass ornaments only and I have to admit that it might be a bit on the feminine side. But since only my husband and I mostly use that room, it’s our treat.
The pre lit trees are very easy to put up, but I do enjoy having both – faux and real. As much as I love all the Christmas decorations, I think it’s sad that people are rushing into the decorating, it feels to me like Thanksgiving is being pushed out of the way, a little bit more each year. Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday, a day to stop and be grateful for ALL that we have.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Katherine on

It’s gotten really hard to find fresh trees here in SE Texas. We can get pines, but they’re so scratchy and not very pretty. Growers and tree dealers (the few that are left) only bring in trees around Thanksgiving, and they are dried out by Christmas. I’ve been considering a faux for a couple years, but I love very full trees, which we call Butterball Turkey trees, and you can’t get those in faux. I love the new trend of renting live trees, but again, that is only in very select areas of the country.

elizabeth@pineconesandacornsblog on

Hello Tina,

I too had many problems Saturday and Sunday! Hopefully the glitches are out of the site. I love seeing Teddy! He looks regal and happy. Have a wonderful time with your parents!

corrieMae on

Love your Seven on Sunday!! We have always had real Christmas trees in our home. With our move this year, not too sure if a tree will go up. Just not feeling it this year 🙁 Love looking at all your lovely pictures, they do give me some motivation.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

michele@hellolovely on

i love what you did to make individual homemade crumb cakes! genius! and thank you for giving us our Teddy fix. he is such a beautiful creature in the leaves. i wish i was one of those cool bloggers who has an editorial calendar and a detailed map of when to decorate with itemized lists and notices on the smartphone but i am a free spirit. when the spirit moves me, i get on it, and it can be furious. so i did do some experimenting today for the thanksgiving table and i do intend to get a real tree this week, but i think it’s important to be in the right frame of mind. if i am frazzled and going through the motions? somehow that will be conveyed or transmitted so my aim is always to approach decor with a steadied, calm heart. xox

Lisa on

We started using a faux tree 20 years ago when I realized my daughter was allergic to a real tree and always seemed to get sick once we had a tree in the house. I bought a prelit Barcana and it was wonderful. The kids and dh loved the colored lights and hanging heavy ornaments is so easy as the branches are strong. Sadly a few strands quit working last year, so I started looking for a new tree. I was surprised at how $$$ they are and don’t like the look of LED lights that are now on most. While I liked the Balsam Hill and Frontgate trees, I could not buy one without seeing it first! So I ended up buying a $250, 9′ prelit tree from Lowes that has white incandescent lights. It comes in 3 sections and was easy to assemble. It is partially decorated and looks pretty. If I ever make it to a Frontgate store, I will have to consider buying on of their trees. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Kathryn on

Happy Thanksgiving, Tina! We have both lie and faux trees. The faux goes up the day after Thanksgiving and the real usually the first weekend in December…I strive to have a “Hallmark Christmas” look where there is always Christmas in every picture that is taken :-). If you are in Hallmark Land in jail, there is certainly a Christmas tree or wreath behind you in the jail…LOL!!!!

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