The day after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. We have tons of delicious leftovers from Thanksgiving which fuels the flurry of activity of this Christmas decorating day (or two or three!) Since we have lived here, we have always cut down two live trees. A humongous one for the living room and a normal size one for the keeping room. This year we strayed from our tradition by putting up an.. an.. (gasp!) artificial tree in the living room. It was a very hard decision - almost painful in fact, but as I write this all I can say is that the reason for the change is becoming a great comfort now that it has been up for awhile. Here is why we made the change: We have several ways we heat our home. We have a pellet stove in the basement, a gas fireplace in the living room (where the pellet stove used to be) and regular gas base-board heat. The main source is the gas fireplace in the living room. Every year that we have had a live tree in that room, I have seen the trees get dry and become a huge fire hazard. So much so that it would become an issue where the strangest noise or flicker of strange light would cause me to run to make sure the tree had not spontaneously combusted! Although beautiful, the hazard was real and after 10 years, we needed to re-think this particular tradition. So begrudgingly, during the summer I scoured the internet for the tallest, most "real" looking artificial tree I could find at the cheapest (yay-clearance!!) price I could find. This poor artificial tree started its' life here being scorned and put in the basement for 5 months with vows to never see the light of day... ha! Thank goodness it is not real or I would seriously have to repent and apologize to it for my bad attitude toward it. 😂 We put it up this year and although it is not as fat as I like trees to be, it is beautiful - but the peace-of-mind is priceless. We will still have our beautiful live tree in the keeping room which is not near a heat source except for the fireplace - but there is no concern there. Another change - but a necessary change and it is good.