This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Oh Christmas Tree

December 15th, 2013

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are thy branches!
Not only green when summer’s here
But in the coldest time of year.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are thy branches!

There’s a big storm forecasted for today, so Mr Chiots and I headed out yesterday afternoon to get our Christmas tree. Here in Maine we are lucky to have lots of balsam firs on our property. We found this perfectly imperfect beauty over the front hillside.
christmas tree 2
Christmas tree with decorations
It’s decorated with one strand of 25 big white bulbs and a few etched glass balls. It smells heavenly and we love the warm glow it casts in the living room. There’s nothing better than enjoying hot chocolate with the tree on.

Do you put up a Christmas tree? Is it a real tree or a fake tree?

20 Comments to “Oh Christmas Tree”
  1. Mich on December 15, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I always put up a tree and it’s always a real one, I just love the smell. :)

    Reply to Mich's comment

  2. Kay on December 15, 2013 at 6:27 am

    We are not putting up a tree this year, but when we do, we always get a little cedar tree on our property that would otherwise get chocked out w/ all the other big trees that surround it.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  3. kristin @ going country on December 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Secret: I really, really want to get a fake tree. I’m the one who deals with all the tree stuff, and it’s such a hassle. The lure of artificial convenience is strong. But there would be a revolt if such a thing ever came into our house–besides which I have nowhere to store it the rest of the year and yeah, it would look pretty stupid in our antique-filled old house–so real it is.

    This year, thanks to the small, destructive child in our midst, we’re doing a very small tabletop tree again. We haven’t had a really big, fully-laden-with-breakable-ornaments tree in a few years. We can accomodate a truly ridiculously large tree, but I like the smaller ones. Less work, less fuss, just as beautiful.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  4. Marina C on December 15, 2013 at 8:06 am

    We have been getting our tree from a family tree farm nearby for over 10 years. It is nestled in a hollow in the hills and there is nothing like the smell and feel of a real tree, and cutting it yourself. When you bring the tree you have cut to pay for it, you are treated to hot chocolate by the big wood stove.
    The house smells wonderful, and our family ornaments come out. Each one of us has favorites, it is a lovely jumble of memories from the last 30 years together and our kids childhood.
    We just got nearly a foot of snow last night. What a treat to have such a proper white Christmas!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  5. Nebraska Dave on December 15, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Susy, I really like your tree. It’s simple but festive. It’s not over crowded with bling that sparkles and flashes. In my humble opinion, simple is the way it should be. Decorations should enhance the beauty of the tree not distract from it. You have done a great job with simple decorations to bring out the natural beauty of the tree.

    Have a great Christmas season.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  6. Lisa Sewell on December 15, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Real. Always real. And always a “wild” one. My whole life my dad would take me out to his woodlot where many balsam firs grow and we’d cut what many would consider a very homely tree…:) He passed away last year but we carry on the tradition. I’m currently sitting by the warm glow of our “perfectly imperfect” tree. Merry Christmas!

    Reply to Lisa Sewell's comment

  7. Deb on December 15, 2013 at 8:37 am

    With cats in the hosue no tree and haven’yf for years. Even wiring them to the wall they cats would knock it down. Of course we didn’t do glass balls. Hope the cats don’t get your glass balls.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  8. Adelina Anderson on December 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

    We have a fake tree we bought when we first got married 16 years ago and we have used it every year except one year. A real tree one year and a half bald cat (fur needed to be clipped after all the tree sap stuck to her fur). A fake tree is fine for the cats to climb – and they love to climb it.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  9. Misti on December 15, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I haven’t put up a tree in years. We did when we were in Florida since we usually did not go home for Christmas, but now that we’re back in Texas we are always gone visiting family. I think whenver we end up having kids we’ll start doing the Christmas tree thing again. Though, I found a really neat non-tree tree at Lowe’s a few weekends ago, it was metal but had rope wrapped around the trunk and limbs and lights dangling from it. It was artsy, and I could handle that instead.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  10. Jennifer Fisk on December 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Mine is a real tree purchased from the Boy Scout Troop 89. It is not one of those tight sheared trees but instead a more open natural tree.
    Your’s looks so nice all decorated.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  11. DebbieB on December 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Your tree is so pretty! I’m a big fan of “perfectly imperfect” myself.

    No tree for us, not for years now. Like Deb said earlier, CATS. I have 5 indoor cats, they think a tree brought indoors is a marvelous plaything just for them. Ornaments scattered and broken, tree crashing to the floor. We tried an artificial one for a few years, same result. It wasn’t the lovely real tree smell that was drawing them, it was THE CHALLENGE.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  12. Karina on December 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Our Christmas tree is a Norfolk Island Pine we have had for years.We string it with lights and a few ornaments. In our tiny house it would be overkill to add another tree. I do add arrangements of winter greens all around the house for that wonderful smell. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply to Karina's comment

  13. Tom Wolfe on December 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    We cut a tree together as a family ever year. This year we too ended up with an almost perfectly imperfect tree, a fine spruce. We cut it a bit long, so trimmed it to fit our living room. We then cut the branches off the extra bit and tied them to the trunk to fill in the holes, and it looks great!

    Reply to Tom Wolfe's comment

  14. kathi Cook on December 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    What a cute simple tree. The spacing on it is perfect for antique ornaments. Enjoy the season!

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  15. Lemongrass on December 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I have not put up a tree in 30 years. This year I am………with pictures of Nelson Mandela, alone with a few of his quotations as decorations. at different times of his life.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  16. Lisa on December 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Real, always. I collect ornaments so I need a big tree to display them all. We usually get a 8-9 footer. This year I bought some handmade tin icicles from a tin smith we found in Ohio. They sparkle like crazy. I love the look and smell of the tree.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  17. amy on December 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    That tree is just dear. We always do real. I have been reading a new book called….Soil and Sacrament…by Fred Bahnson….and thought of you…..I think you may like it:)

    Reply to amy's comment

  18. Colleen on December 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    First, I love your tree. Elegant and simple.

    A real tree. Yes, there is the issue with cleaning up all the needles, but we love a real tree. In fact, last year we bought and planted about two dozen trees to use as Christmas trees in the coming years.

    Merry Christmas to both of you.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  19. angie h on December 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Beautiful tree, Susy and Brian! We always get a fir, I particularly love Frasier Firs. I like their shape and always get one with large gaps. I use white lights and put a ton on, Brian jokes you can probably see us from space. We always get an ornament when on vacation and sometimes if I see one I really love at a Christmas shop where we get our tree and of course we have a few handmade from the kids. There are hardly no balls on our tree, all ornaments.

    Reply to angie h's comment

  20. Susanne on December 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

    i never put on a christmas tree, instead i’ve been decorating and old sleigh with christmas ornaments for some years now. but this is mostly because i’m not at home at christmas, but at my mom’s, where we have a real & live tree outside the living room, with lights on and everything!

    by the way, it’s:

    “O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
    Wie grün sind deine Blätter!
    Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
    Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
    O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
    Wie grün sind deine Blätter!”

    in german and we always thought how strange it is to sing “blätter” (= leaves), because it’s needles on a fir tree!

    Reply to Susanne's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Peanut Butter?

Dexter is such a fun cat, he's adventurous in every way, even in his diet. I know Dexter will eat...