December 1, 2011

Welcome, December! I’m so glad you’re here.

This image makes me want to get our Christmas tree immediately. How about you? Are you putting up a tree this year? Is it already up? Do you go for fresh or artificial? (Last year we had both!) Have you ever cut down a Christmas tree yourself? Is it beginning to look like Christmas in your neck of the woods?

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Genevieve December 1, 2011 at 6:45 am

Snowy and cold today here in Colorado!


2 Corrie Anne December 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

NO kidding! That snow totally surprised me this morning!!!!!!


3 Genevieve December 1, 2011 at 6:49 am

Would love to go get our own tree…haven’t done it since I was a kid. My kids counted 42 trees on cars heading back down to Denver the day after Thanksgiving in the span of a 15 minute car drive up to the foothills!


4 Design Mom December 1, 2011 at 7:24 am

42 trees! That’s so fun.


5 Chris December 1, 2011 at 6:54 am

So true. Just the word December, snaps something in my brainworks. Yesterday I didn’t really want one but today I most certainly do!I think we might support the local boyscouts this year and get one at their little sale on the green.

its so odd…it’s been in the 50s all week which is so strange for Vermont this time of the year. Although, I will take it because we will have plenty of cold.

What’s the weather like in France?


6 Design Mom December 1, 2011 at 7:23 am

So far, it’s cold but not snowy. And really, not too unbearably cold either. Last year, Ben Blair came at about this time to see this house, and there was a bit of snow on the ground. But he was told that was unusual. It will be interesting to see what this winter brings!


7 Chris December 1, 2011 at 8:52 am

Enjoy the holidays abroad!


8 Shelley Abreu @ The Happiness Diaries December 1, 2011 at 7:22 am

I love that photo. Almost thought it was you and your husband for a second! It was 65 in Boston yesterday. I’m waiting for cooler weather until we get our tree. We always buy fresh but usually from a lot somewhere. I would like to cut our own someday!


9 Melissa L. December 1, 2011 at 7:23 am

Today is the day that we “Let the decorating begin!!!!”. And the weather is crisp and cool for about the next hour here in Central Florida until the sun burns off the frost.


10 Connie December 1, 2011 at 7:28 am

My husband and I found a very pretty faux pre-lit on sale-it’d be lovely to have a real tree, but we’re concerned that our west highland white terrier pup might like the real tree a bit too much…(or else drink all its water!). Maybe when he gets a little older…

We decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving, and all that’s left is for us to trim up our front porch with some lights and bows. I am usually chomping at the bit to decorate as soon as Thanksgiving has had its say. :)


11 Sarah Fritzler {Daily Design Inspiration} December 1, 2011 at 7:34 am

Aw, sweet picture. Like Genevieve said, it’s cold and snowing today in Colorado and it’s so beautiful. We cut our tree down last weekend (pics here: This year we chose a blue spruce which is softer and has that pretty blue tint to it. It’s in the house, but yet to be decorated! If you settle back in CO, they make it easy to cut your own tree. Happy December!


12 michelle December 1, 2011 at 7:47 am

happy december! the last month of a delicious year! is it just sad that i am still pining after the tree giveaway from monday? i so yearn for “full” in so many ways…. that tree included! thank you for the inspiration in so many ways – i know i can be filled in other ways! …..merry Christmas to you and your family!


13 Hannah Q. December 1, 2011 at 7:51 am

Yesterday was sunny & in the 50s but we woke up to lots of snow this morning in Boulder!


14 allysha December 1, 2011 at 7:57 am

I’m waiting for the snow. I believe snow should arrive in bundles on Dec 1 and then leave on Jan 2. Enjoy your holidays! If you get up to Paris, they have an ice skating rink by the hotel de ville. It’s magical!


15 Adrienne Conner December 1, 2011 at 7:58 am

Oh I just love that image! We are already in Winter Wonderland here in Mid Michigan. Good news is, we bought a new house! Bad news, we don’t know our closing date yet and are in packing mode so we’re not going to cut down the tree, get hot cocoa and decorate. It’s just so sad too because it’s my daughter’s first Christmas. She’s only 8 months so it’s not like she understands, but I love the smell of the Concolor Fir in the house. If you’ve never cut one down, you absolutely have to. It smells like citrus!! Happy Holidays to you Gabby! I continue to enjoy your blog every morning while having my coffee!


16 aimee @ smilingmama December 1, 2011 at 8:01 am

Beautiful photo! We’ll be getting our tree soon. With a toddler in the house, last year and this year we opted (will opt!) for a small tree that we can put on top of a table. It turned out so cute last year (and really made me put only my absolute favorite ornaments up!) that I’m really looking forward to another petite tree this year. Of course, I’ll also be happy to get back to a larger tree in a few years!


17 Christa The BabbyMama December 1, 2011 at 8:02 am

I wasn’t going to participate in the holly jolly this year… too painful, or potentially so. But when my daughter asked the day after Thanksgiving “Do we have a tree we can decorate?” it was all uphill from there. Now our house feels almost Christmas crazy – crafts are helping me keep my mind off of other things!


18 Corrie Anne December 1, 2011 at 8:15 am

We were shocked to get a notification from our apartment in Denver that we’re not ALLOWED real trees. Waaah!! My uncle had a tree farm in Minnesota so I’ve always had real trees, and I love them so much!! I’m really welcoming December as well!


19 barchbo December 1, 2011 at 8:19 am

If I had six children, I would pretend they were my very own Christmas elves all month long! (Which is probably why God gave me only one!) :)

We are doing an elegant, silver table-top tree. Since we travel for Christmas and our little one is newly mobile, we both find it an easy compromise. Less time decorating, more time for cider and building fires!

Happy December!


20 the emily December 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

We moved this year and are still living in a small apartment waiting for our house to sell in Utah. Our artificial tree is too tall for our ceilings here so we’ll have our first real tree–my first real tree ever! I’m kind of excited but I have no idea how to keep a real tree alive, so we’ll probably wait a week or so before we buy it. So far the weather is nice, 50s every day, in New Mexico.


21 Tanie December 1, 2011 at 9:00 am

My tree has been up for almost two weeks- sort of. I have a daycare in my home and it seems every year I have at least one little one here who has never experienced a Christmas tree. To get them used to it I like to put the tree up in stages- first it’s up for a week bare, then with just lights for a week, and then finally we put on all the decorations! Right now it’s still in the just-lights stage, but ornaments go on tomorrow evening and I’m excited!


22 Amy3 December 1, 2011 at 9:08 am

It’s sunny and chilly here in NY this morning and I’m glad to greet December! I don’t always love how early it gets dark, but I love the crispness of early winter.

We’re getting our (real) tree on Saturday. We’re still new to the real tree thing, having only done it for the past three years or so. We’ve never cut one down (or even gotten one from a tree farm), instead we hit Stew Leonard’s. Their trees are great!


23 Tara Jane December 1, 2011 at 9:10 am

We just cut down our tree last night. Smells great in the house!


24 kelleyn December 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

I am so happy December is here! I hope there will be enough snow in SLC when we go skiing in two weeks. I bet it is a little bitter sweet for your family since you will be going back to the states, or are you extending your stay?


25 Andrea December 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

Here in Oregon we are blessed to be able and support a free farm and to cut down our own nobles…. we also have a kids tree that is artificial :)


26 Kristin December 1, 2011 at 9:44 am

Due to allergies we go artificial, though I’d love to one year put a real tree on our back porch.


27 Stephen December 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

This is the main reason I never had a real tree growing up. My mother had terrible allergies. I was raised on artificial so I stick with artificial. Maybe someday I’ll get a real one…


28 Shannon December 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

Love this photo, too. We’ve done artificial for many years. Last year, however, we did the whole sleigh ride in the woods to cut down a tree thing and it was so much fun. We nearly didn’t make it up the hill to the lodge with our minivan though. I’m thinking since we’ve lived in the Northwest for 6 years now we really need to get a 4 wheel drive. Winters here are beautiful but brutal.


29 Lisette December 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

In my opinion fresh or potted is the only way to go. Who wants to store something that large all year long anyways.


30 Val Bateman December 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

We cut our own tree and it’s one of my most favorite family traditions. Although real trees seem to be more work they are always more beautiful than artificial in my opinion. The smell, the imperfect ness of branches, the memory of hiking thru the forest with my sweets to find it.


31 CrazyUS (Beth) December 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

We prefer the live ones. And if you promise not to tell anyone (wink wink), for the past two years we have been chopping down our Christmas Tree. We are able to get our trees in our backyard. Yes. I am serious about this. I was so worried about chopping down a tree. Then my husband reminded me that we live in a forrest and that a tree or two would not be missed. We have found the most amazing & neglected Charlie-Brown types of trees. I would like to say that even if we had not chopped them down that they would have died anyway (rationalization). And even if we end up buying one this year, it will still be real. They live ones smell so good and make our home feel like Christmas. What a great question, by the way. Your photo is stunning! As I look at it, I swear I can hear Christmas Music playing in the background!


32 sarah December 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

everything is up but the tree. i’m hoping we get it done tonight. we’ve had parties and sports, but now things are slowing down.


33 jennie w. December 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

We lived in Oregon for ten years and always cut our own tree down. Only $2 per foot for the most lovely Noble Firs. Even though we cut them personally, they still died within a couple of weeks and would make such a mess.

Now that we live in Texas we have a fake. I like it a lot better since I don’t have to lie down on the ground helping my husband cut it down. But it is kind of sad every year that we don’t get the excitement of picking out our tree.


34 bdaiss December 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

We typically go cut our trees the day after Thanksgiving. But we were roadtripping this year. So Saturday will be the day of tree hunting! But I’m breaking out a bunch of the other decorations tonight. What the hey, kick off our advent fun with decking the halls. I bet my 5 year old is going to be SO into it this year.


35 Dawn December 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

My husband and I both grew up in Florida, so when we moved to Missouri 25 years ago neither of us had seen snow nor ever had a real Christmas tree. The first year we lived here we decided to go and cut our own Christmas tree. One Saturday we drove up to a Christmas tree farm in north Missouri. There was no one there except us. There was a little outbuilding with saws and twine hanging on the outside and a slot for you to insert the cash or check for your tree. Just as we headed out to find our tree, it started to snow. Thanks for jogging this sweet memory out of my heart.


36 Anne December 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

I have to a have a real one because of the good memories of going out with my dad Christmas tree shopping. I grew up in Houston, and dad would always wait for a cold and rainy day (there was always at least one, among 70 degree December days). Then we’d bundle up and go buy a tree from one of those places that spring up in vacant lots.


37 Julia December 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

we had a dusting of snow this morning! we use an artificial tree, I have allergies and my husband has asthma so unfortunately we don’t get to experience picking a fresh one.


38 Lori H December 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

Ooo…love that photo! My first thought on seeing it was “I need new SmartWool socks and I didn’t put them on my Xmas list!” We got our tree last night (at a tree lot) because my college-aged daughter is home tonight then back to school tomorrow and she can join us in decorating the tree. One of the hardest things about sending my daughter off to college was not the day-to-day missing her but the times of great family ritual that she misses, like Halloween, and decorating the Xmas tree. She doesn’t usually get home for Xmas until mid-December. :)


39 Stephen December 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I always go with the artificial tree. Buying a new tree each year takes money away from new decorations, gifts, cards and any other holiday purchases that need to be made. Not to mention the mess of pine needles a live tree leaves behind. With 3 children to keep after, there’s plenty of messes to clean up as it is!

Someday I’d like to get a real tree, I think the experience of searching for the perfect one and cutting it down would be a lot of fun. Until I reach that day, I’ll stick with a tree that folds up into a box at the end of the season.


40 judith December 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Here in Anchorage, all the spruce trees outside my house look like Christmas trees. I’m going content myself with them, and have a little fake tree and keep it up on top of a bookshelf again this year. My littles are 4, 4 and 2. The last time I had a tree down on the floor I kept redecorating it the whole month as they brought me ornament after ornament – by Christmas all the ornaments were at least half-way up the tree! It saves me some Christmas stress just to keep it out of reach.


41 Andrea December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

We’ve lived in rural Wyoming for the past four years, and every year we go for a drive up in the hills to find our perfect Christmas tree. (Five dollars for a tree permit and we’re good to go!) This year the snow kept us from getting very far, though, so our Christmas tree is a funny lopsided thing. It’s perfectly imperfect:). I grew up with an artificial tree, but I must say I love our new family tradition.


42 Kathleen December 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

We’ve used an artificial tree for the past 5 years–it was just easier with small children. This year we’re going for real again! I’m excited about the smell, but I forgot that we had to wait longer to set it up.

One year my parents took us to a tree farm to cut our own tree. We kept walking further and further from the entrance to look for the “perfect” tree. When we finally found it and chopped it down, everyone realized we’d have to make the trek back carrying a huge, heavy tree. Thankfully, I have a big family, and all 7 of us pitched and made it to the car. We never went again!


43 Kathy Ayers December 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

By the way Gabby, where do you post winners of the giveaways? Not that I will win, but it is fun to look! Thanks!


44 Martha @ runninginmommyland December 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Everything is so cute!!!!!


45 Jennifer December 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I am so excited to go on our Christmas Tree Expedition this year! We are going to tailgate with potato soup too!


46 Claire December 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Being in Australia, it never really ‘looks like Christmas’, well except for the decorations and trees everywhere. It’s actually starting to get warmer – sunny days and higher temperatures – that’s when we know Christmas is coming :)

I would love to experience at least one white Christmas though. That would be pretty amazing!


47 julie r December 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm

our tree’s always up and decorated the weekend of/after Thanksgiving! i’ve already got a few presents under there because i can’t find places to hide them. :) luckily, my kiddos restrain themselves and don’t tear them open. :)


48 Gita December 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

We’ll cut our own tree at a local tree farm this weekend. It is a happy, happy place. Usually in the barn there is hot cider on the woodstove, the farmer’s prize tree from the Big Fair, and candy canes for the little ones. If we’re lucky, there’s snow on the ground and in the air. Those of you who wrote that you felt bad cutting your tree, don’t! It’s environmentally friendly and the space that the tree farm/forest takes up is a wonderful habitat for all sorts of wildlife. (And our tree lasts for 6 weeks!)


49 Christie December 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Moved from Michigan to Nashville a few years ago and I still miss the snow covered lawns during December and a fresh cut Christmas tree. Thanks for the beautiful photo.


50 Marlorie December 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

About to get our first real tree ever! Can’t wait!


51 Dee December 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm

We put our tree (fake, pre-lit) up every year the day after Thanksgiving. Thinking about adding a smaller real tree.


52 Cerise December 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm

What a beautiful picture. We are in the middle of moving, so no Christmas tree yet! Hopefully next week!!


53 G. December 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Beautiful photo! Makes me want to live somewhere where it snows! And no, not too Christmassy, we’re getting into summer here in New Zealand! :D


54 everton terrace December 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

I’m so on the fence about our trees (we usually put up 4) because we are going away for Christmas and I’d like to avoid the task but it just doesn’t seem right somehow. Mulling it over.


55 Lauren December 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

We always get a real tree, but usually just from a tree lot. I grew up cutting down our own tree though and I miss it. This year, we bought our tree close to home so that we could carry it home, which felt super romantic and Christmasy. It was unlike that beautiful photo though because it was almost 60 degrees outside!


56 Beth December 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

My grandfather owns a cut your own tree farm, so we always cut our own live tree. I can’t imagine doing it any other way! It just wouldn’t be the same to buy a packaged or artificial one.


57 RebeccaNYC December 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

We always cut a tree when I was a child, but living in NYC, this is no longer possible. We have a fake tree which is gorgeous, and I use pine scented candles to make that fabulous smell, so we’re all good, but this year we are thinking of maybe being very very minimalist with the decor and doing without the tree. I don’t know, I might cave.


58 Claudia C December 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Great picture!

My husband and I have been moving around and fresh Christmas trees were pretty impossible to get in places that we have lived in. Now that we are in Vancouver, Canada, PLUS with 2 kids (4yrs/2yrs) we are getting a fresh one!


59 LH December 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm

We bought a real tree from the boyscouts. The poor dad supervising said he’d worked a 12 hour shift beforehand and they were super busy so he was having to do hard work at the tree sales too. What a dedicated dad! :)
We have a 2 year old, but so far he’s being good with the tree. We put all the breakable ornaments up high out of reach!


60 Jadah December 7, 2011 at 3:37 am

I just cut our first tree at a Christmas Tree farm in northern California with my husband and 4 year old daughter. And we did it the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t think I can go back to artificial after this experience. Check out my pictures and the tree farm we visited here:


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