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If a Post Goes Up on a Blog…

I was debating whether or not to post the rest of the week.  I mean, is anyone really going to read it?  Probably not.  Y’all are busy making Christmas dinner and wrapping presents and prepping for Santa.  Whereas I am ready for the start of Lord of the Rings night and the Doctor Who Christmas special.

It sort of felt like “If a tree falls in the woods…,” you know?  Is it worth posting if no one will read it?

Clearly, I think the answer is yes.

I mean, the answer was yes when I started this blog and no one knew it existed.  And if it was yes back then, why wouldn’t it still be true now?  It enhances the experience when a post has an audience, but it’s still worth going through the writing process even if the words will not be read.  Even inconsequential drivel like this.

If I only write when I have an audience, I will never get better, I will never express myself, and I will be putting the power in someone else’s hands rather than keeping it myself.  So I’m posting, whether or not anyone reads this.

But if you are reading this, I am going to tell you two things I learned about Christmas trees due to social media that I never knew until this year.

One, when you buy a Christmas tree from an outdoor lot, you are supposed to inspect the tree for chipmunks and other… critters… before tying it to your car roof and heading home.  If not, when you unfurl the branches inside your house, a chipmunk that was hiding inside could race out.

Two, you are supposed to balance the ornaments on the tree so that you have equal weight all around.  If not, the tree can fall over.  Again, had not considered this though it makes perfect sense.  I think I would only purchase/make wooden or fabric ornaments knowing that a tree could fall over and glass ones could break.  I am glad I read about this because I’m going to go with sturdy ornaments as gifts going forward.

There are probably other things about trees that I have no clue about having never had one.  But what a wonderful world it is where there are still things to learn in middle age.

Merry Christmas.


1 Kathy { 12.23.15 at 7:55 am }

I am reading your post today and I’m glad you wrote it. We don’t have a real tree as my daughter is allergic, but I envy those who do. Having the sight and aroma of nature’s beauty in your home is a lovely tradition. Merry Christmas to you !

2 Candice { 12.23.15 at 8:02 am }

I’m reading! Your posts are very interesting and valuable to me.

3 Parul { 12.23.15 at 8:02 am }

Merry Christmas! I am reading your post today. I absolutely feel energized and inspired to write today after reading your post. When I started writing on my blog, I never knew who will read and may be no one read. So why stop now?
I love Chrismassy things around but because we don’t celebrate the festival, I don’t have a tree at home and I am not aware of the traditions. I am thinking that may be we should start having one from next year. So what if I haven’t had one since childhood. 🙂

4 Delenn { 12.23.15 at 8:49 am }

I am reading too! 🙂
Hoping Dr. Who is good (I was so glad Clara is finally gone…); getting ready to go see Star Wars…and yes, doing the Santa thing too.

We have an artificial tree…pop hinges down–instant branches and no critters…until the ornaments are on–we don’t balance, as much as we hide them as high as possible from the Three Stalking Cats….

Happy Lord of the Rings night!

5 Sharon { 12.23.15 at 8:54 am }

There must be something nice about having time off with no obligations. I guess that’s the main upside to Christmas for people who don’t celebrate the holiday

6 Karen { 12.23.15 at 9:06 am }

This. “If I only wrote when I have an audience, I will never get better, I will never express myself…” Yes. Exactly that.

I need to get better about being okay with writing drivel. Thank you for posting today.

Also? I did not know that you are supposed to inspect the tree to make sure no animals are in it. I never have. I also thought the point of spreading out the decorations was for beauty, not practicality. Haha. So I learned something new today, too. 🙂

7 nonsequiturchica { 12.23.15 at 9:33 am }

I’m reading as work is really slow this week! 🙂

I would hope that there wouldn’t be a chance that the tree would fall over due to ornaments. First off, hopefully your ornaments aren’t too heavy to begin with. Secondly, the tree should be tightly screwed in at the base. Maybe you have to worry about this with an artificial tree?

8 Lavonne @ *Our Wish* { 12.23.15 at 9:34 am }

Thank you for the tree tips and post! I am just coming back to the blog world and it’s nice that I still have a familiar blog to follow as most of the others have disappeared…Merry Christmas!!

9 a { 12.23.15 at 9:57 am }

I’m not buying the critter story. They would have already been scared away when the tree was cut…or transported.. or sitting on the lot with people milling about. Now, if you go to a Christmas tree farm, on the other hand…

My mom was always big on evenly spaced ornaments but that was aesthetic. If your tree is properly placed in the holder and screwed in tightly, a few pieces of glass aren’t going to make much difference. In other words, the majority of the balance comes from the placement of the tree in the stand. Ornaments are generally lightweight and are not likely to have a huge effect.

My husband complains that I will argue anything. It’s times like these where I feel compelled to agree with him. 🙂

10 Infertile Girl { 12.23.15 at 10:02 am }

Ha ha, this sounds like something I would say, and my husband would probably agree the same about me arguing everything. I’m too analytical for my own good 😉

11 a { 12.23.15 at 9:59 am }

Also, all of our ornaments have only ever broken in storage…

12 Noemi { 12.23.15 at 10:03 am }

I’m reading. I haven’t been great about posting on my own blog right now because it doesn’t feel right to put up anything that isn’t “merry and bright,” at this time of year, and I’m not feeling very merry and bright right now. So I’m not writing. But I am reading, and I’m very thankful that you’re writing. So thanks. 😉

13 Infertile Girl { 12.23.15 at 10:07 am }

I’m here and reading! And will probably take a break on Christmas to check on my bloggy friends (though I doubt there will be many posting). I have a beautiful hand blown glass ornament that I bought at a Christmas market in Europe that I am terrified will break some day. But less so from the tree falling over. I don’t think that ever happens due to too many ornaments, more likely due to cats, dogs or toddlers knocking it down. I think my special ornament might have to go into storage for a few the next few years until baby girl is able to be careful around the tree. Luckily she isn’t mobile this year!

14 SuzannaCatherine { 12.23.15 at 10:15 am }

I’m reading! Always reading and learning from your blog! I must tell you that not having a post on stirrup-queens.com on Saturdays makes me sad. I understand that you need a day off, but … in my heart of hearts I really wish there was a new post everyday. On those occasions when we get two posts in a single day, well, that’s like getting a surprise package. ?

Ah, Christmas trees. We always have one and it usually goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Some years we are more motivated than others. This year we found an artificial tree in the attic of the house we moved to last January. It’s a big tree (we have very high ceilings here) and we decided to use it. If I can figure out how to send a picture of it I will. (Don’t anybody hold their breath!)

One final Christmas Tree story. When I was a child, we lived in Anchorage, Alaska. By the time I was a teenager we had moved a bit farther North to Fairbanks. Every year it was a “big deal” to go out into the woods and cut down our tree. I don’t remember EVER going to a lot to buy a tree until we moved back to Seattle.

Anyway, Daddy always cut down two trees. These were scrawny little fir trees and looked nothing like the full commercially grown trees of today. We would then take the two trees home. Daddy would proceed to make one tree out of the two by drilling holes in the trunk of the “best” tree and adding the fullest branches from the second tree. After a long afternoon of drilling and strategically placing extra branches on the “chosen” tree, we always ended up with a really good looking tree. Add the decorations and all the tinsel (quite the Christmas tree fashion of the 50s and 60s) and nobody would guess our little tree had had serious transplant surgery. ?

In the past, while perusing the trees available on the lots around my sleepy southern town, I’ve been a victim of sticker shock! Prices, which can range anywhere from $75.00 to $100.00 per tree, can take your breath away! Makes my heart yearn for one of Daddy’s two-into-one Alaskan fir trees.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday experience-whatever holiday you celebrate.

15 Beth { 12.23.15 at 11:08 am }

Our tree did fall over one year! It was when I was in college, home for Christmas. Christmas night I was with my mom in our living room and watched it happen. I don’t know what precipitated it except that we knew we had over decorated. Miraculously nothing broke. Now, this year my tree is sparse and decorated from the mid-point up… because my toddler LOVES the tree and shows her affection with crushing emotion. Literally crushing everything she touches. So my grandma’s ornaments stayed in their boxes and only the heartiest of ornaments adorn our tree – from 2 feet and up. My parents’ tree is similar (3 grandkids under 2) and I love them so much for doing it. My mother in law cares so much about decorating that her beautiful tree will be a source of stress on Christmas Day (she will not understand if something breaks unfortunately) but I’m choosing not to think about that.

16 Justine { 12.23.15 at 12:22 pm }

Here I am, reading! (though it’s been a while since I read, so I’m not sure what that proves.)

Maybe I should post now that no one is reading? Hmmmm … *toys with own mind* …

Never had critters in our tree, but the ornaments thing is definitely important to note. Especially if your tree is in a corner, which ours is. Sort of bizarre, now that I think about it, to bring a tree home and stick it in water in the corner of your room. Like flowers, but much sadder. ??!?

17 Brid { 12.23.15 at 12:35 pm }

Our tree fell over once! I had just finished decorating, and while I can’t say if the decorations were too heavy, I did discover that it wasn’t screwed into the base evenly or tightly… perhaps a combination then. Luckily, the only thing that broke was a little plastic angel (she was meant to look like glass) and I was, for the most part, able to glue her back together. We have a little niece this year, so I tie the top of the tree to the curtain rod, just in case!
One more trick for real trees is to add some ginger ale to the water… the sugar in the soda helps keep the needles from falling off!
Hope you enjoy your time off!

18 Catwoman73 { 12.23.15 at 12:39 pm }

I’m here, too! Christmas day- maybe not. And I likely won’t post much this week, but I’m definitely reading!

We have a fake Christmas tree. No danger of critters, and the only time our tree has ever fallen over is when the cat has tried to climb it (which made the whole incident rather amusing, even if a couple of ornaments did break). Real trees are just too messy. We spent a fair bit on our tree, so it actually looks a lot like a real tree. We just don’t have to water it, and the stand is meant for that particular tree, so it is very sturdy. I’ll post a pic sometime in the next week! 🙂

19 Lisa { 12.23.15 at 1:19 pm }

Two words, sister: Fake tree.

20 Cristy { 12.23.15 at 2:40 pm }

Here and reading! So glad you posted.

The critter thing is true! Except in our case it was mice due to an exceptionally mild winter. The only time I’ve seen a tree fall over was due to 3 cats pulling on the tinsle. Needless to say, there hasn’t been tinsle since.

Hope the movie marathon is going well!

21 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.23.15 at 3:49 pm }

I did not know those two things about Christmas trees!

But I do wonder what happens if one falls in the forest.

22 Rachel { 12.23.15 at 4:25 pm }

I will be reading as I hide from the world full of families celebrating Christmas with their children – so don’t count us all out! 🙂

23 nicoleandmaggie { 12.23.15 at 8:53 pm }

We’ve gotten a surprising number of blog hits today.

24 Mali { 12.23.15 at 10:28 pm }

I’m here reading. I’ve done most of the preparation, and by late tomorrow afternoon our guests will have gone home (they’re all elderly this year, so stamina is not a strong point), and we’ll have some peace and quiet. And I will likely check in with the internet and see who’s about and who is doing what.

Sigh – we have to wait till Boxing Day (once again we’re so far ahead in time and space we’re behind!) to see the Dr Who Christmas Special, but I’m looking forward to it. No spoilers please!

25 Colleen { 12.24.15 at 6:36 am }

You’ve reminded me of an old Disney Christmas special during which Chip ‘n Dale ran around inside Mickey’s Christmas tree and played with the ornaments. It was so magical to watch as a child! Thanks for posting today – it is fun to read now, and would also have been awesome if I’d had a few days off and returned to have several posts to read! Enjoy your binge watching, that brings back memories of University and Christmases with friends I miss.

26 Charlotte { 12.24.15 at 8:23 am }

I am here and reading!! I actually read this yesterday and just didn’t have a chance to comment. Thanks for being a constant, truly. It’s nice to always have somewhere to visit that’s always open ?

27 Amber { 12.24.15 at 1:28 pm }

Ironically, I’m super behind on my blog reading, but decided to quickly stop by today and read! So, based on all these comments, you still have a ton of readership today!

I’ve had real trees my whole life and the only critters we’ve ever had were spiders. One year we had a nest in the tree and got tiny little spiders all over. We have since sprayed down the tree with bug spray. Who wants tiny little spiders all over their house!!!!!?!? And maybe we’ve just had the wrong type of ornaments, but as long as the tree is screwed into the base okay, I don’t think it should really fall over due to ornament placing. At least not in my experience. However, my toddlers trying to pull the lights and ribbon off the tree DID almost topple the tree, and who have if I hadn’t been standing their to catch it!

28 Em { 12.24.15 at 7:50 pm }

I’m here, Merry Christmas Mel! Growing up in Malaysia, we never had real trees. I can get them now in Australia and I’ll remember that in case I ever get one!

29 Middle Girl { 12.25.15 at 11:27 am }

Fake trees fall over too. But, it is all about the base. If the stand isn’t sufficient to support of weight (fake or real) any placement or a determined cat will topple the thing.

Hi-ever, no more trees for me, until and unless I get my living room back.

If I only write when I have an audience, I will never get better, I will never express myself, and I will be putting the power in someone else’s hands rather than keeping it myself. So I’m posting, whether or not anyone reads this.

1. When you write, I (and others) read.
2. And, YES!

30 JustHeather { 12.25.15 at 3:40 pm }

No chipmunks here, but we do have squirrels. I’ve never thought of them possibly being IN a tree when it is purchased. Ack! On the other hand, I’ve never bought an xmas tree.
This year, neither cats nor kids knocked the tree over and Paxlet decorated it, lopsidedly, on his own. It was FIL who “knocked” it over. Hahah

And I’m here reading. Not on the day you posted, but back reading. 🙂

31 Valery Valentina { 12.26.15 at 3:05 am }

reading, and posting…
and at 30+ comments I think I’m not the only one reading

32 apluseffort { 12.28.15 at 10:53 am }

I may be late reading but I always catch up!

33 Queenie { 12.29.15 at 12:17 am }

Not just chipmunks…also birds. It was extremely cold one December at our home in northern New England. You can’t just bring your tree in from the cold and decorate it, because trees are shipped with their branches bound up, and the branches won’t fully come down well when it’s that cold. So, you need to bring the tree inside where it’s warm and leave it for a day or so to let the branches return to their normal position. This particular Christmas, we brought the tree in, set it up, and went on with our day. At some point a day or so later, our (giant) dog started to freak out. There was a starling in our living room. We discovered bird shit on the back sides of lampshades, etc, for months afterward.

34 loribeth { 12.30.15 at 7:28 pm }

Reading this after the fact, but I’m still reading nonetheless. 😉 I don’t always have a lot of time for blog reading & posting over Christmas, but I always catch up, eventually. 😉

I never heard or thought about critters in the tree when I was growing up (we always used to have a real tree, but even my parents now have a fake tree) but I imagine “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” has planted that idea in a lot of people’s heads. 😉 We did have a tree topple over once, after my sister & I had gone to bed. Didn’t even wake us up. I agree it’s usually about the stand & how the tree is positioned in it vs the ornaments. I don’t think it’s as much of an issue with the fake trees, though.

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