Several years ago I swore I'd never put up another live Christmas tree. I got rid of my stand and everything (and I never get rid of stuff). The one I got was too big. It got stuck in my car. I bought it at a produce market where they don't cut the bottom off for you. I had a cheap-o saw. I think I made a few cuts in the trunk and gave up, figuring at least water would get in through the cuts. It fell over. Just as I hung the last ornament on it. I more or less threw the stuff back on after setting it back up and tying it to a hook on the wall. Here it is, it looked much better before it fell over:
I've had an ongoing debate with myself about getting a prelit fake-ola one. On the one hand, they seem so easy to set up and the lights are my least favorite part. On the other hand, the nice ones are expensive and what happens when the lights burn out? Also I don't want to store one and I really hate the idea of not supporting the tree farmers. So after a few years of no tree, I decided to go real again. I really was intending to just get a table topper, but they were $15 and the full sized ones started at $20 so I went with a smallish Douglas Fir for $20. It is nice and full, but the trunk is kind of thin, which made it easy to carry but somewhat of a pain to get it into the stand. I got a new stand for $5 at a thrift store - it is the kind that is supposed to swivel and tilt so you can straighten it and turn it to the best side once it is up, but it is hard to move and the tree ends up moving before the stand, so I'm glad I only paid $5 for it instead of the $35 price tag on the box.
I didn't feel like messing with a lot of my childhood ornaments - too much of a pain wrapping and unwrapping everything and it was Boy-Cat's first experience with a tree (unless he had one in his first home, he was 10 months or so when I got him in July, 2009) and I didn't know if he'd behave. My color scheme is green, blue, silver, white, and gold, and the ornaments are mostly unbreakable and/or not too precious from Dollar Tree (gold sparkly reindeer, cheap-o snowflakes), craft store (nicer snowflakes), WalMart (sparkly green, lighter blue, sparkly gold), thrift store (silver, darker blue), and Target (crystal icicles, star topper).
The skirt is a Christmas toile pattern I made a bunch of years back and stockings to match.
So everything was pretty easy up and will be easy down - everything but the crystal icicles can go in zip lock bags and into plastic totes - I think some of the darker blue and silver might be breakable, but easy enough to replace if I loose a few. It's a little bland with not much variety (lots and lots of plain balls) but low maintenance. I didn't bother with ribbon or garland which might have helped things out in the interest department but again, being lazy. And Boy-Cat has been very well behaved, other than wanting to drink the water, which I knew he would and thwarted by wrapping a towel around the base under the skirt.
I'm also looking forward to moving it out onto the balcony after the season is over where it can spend the winter. I even have strand of outdoor lights I may put on it for outside.
I'm linking to Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Tree Party. Stop on over and take a look at all the gorgeousness.