(This piece is cross-posted at my Examiner.com page.)
Today, David and I went to Pochuck Valley Farms in Glenwood, NJ to pick out and cut down a Christmas tree for our condo. We found a great tree–and it was a lot of fun!
Picking out a Christmas tree and decorating it together is a great way to enjoy a weekend afternoon together. It involves coordination, teamwork, and style. However, if one guy is pulling the tree by the trunk while another clutches on to the limbs, the results will be disastrous–think Charlie Brown’s tree with a heaping side of relationship woes. It’s one of the most significant times when communication plays a critical role during the holiday season.
When you arrive at your local tree farm, you’ll need to select the tree together. Find one that you both adore, and measure it to make sure it fits in your living space. (A tip–our ceilings are a standard height, and a 7-foot tree just barely fits.) Then, one man needs to hold the top of the tree to keep it from falling over while the other saws away near the base of the trunk. Once the trunk is almost completely severed, the guy holding the top of the tree should gently lower it down.
Carry it back to your car together. You’ll need to tie it on the roof by coordinating knots and twine throws. It’s fun, but it also requires talking to one another and working in sync with each other. Make sure the tree is secured tightly to the vehicle before you head home together.
When you arrive at home, install your stand together. Insert the bolts and tighten them slightly. Have one person hold the tree while the other cuts the very bottom off, loosening up the sap plug that may have formed during the drive home. With one man guiding the trunk into the base, the other should lift and tilt it into the appropriate position. Tighten the bolts fully before filling the basin with water and cleaning up stray needles.
Begin decorating the tree by wrapping it with lights. David and I prefer classy white lights, but you can get a lovely rainbow effect if you so desire. Next, add the topper (we use an angel) followed by garland and tinsel. Finish up by strategically placing ornaments and candy canes to make it your own. Buy an ornament that commemorates your relationship–like our rainbow snowmen–and place it front and center. Put a skirt on the tree and light it while you sip mugs of hot cocoa together.
Have you and your partner purchased a Christmas tree together yet? How do you plan on decorating your home this holiday season? Share your thoughts with a comment below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org!