The Old Farm Christmas Place, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

This was my Christmas tree last year. You can read more about this tree and my past Christmas decorating traditions here and here

There are perks to using a vintage aluminum tree besides the sparking beauty and its mid-century kitschy glory:
  • It's environmentally sound because no trees are killed.
  • It was made in the USA.
  • There's no toxic PVC outgassing like contemporary artificial trees. 
  • You can save money by reusing the same tree year after year.

But the drawbacks? 
  • Pulling each branch out of its fragile paper sleeve and putting it in the "trunk" (121 times in the case with my tree) can get tedious. 
  • Keeping the ornaments, all 130 of them from falling is tricky, the reason being that the branches don't offer a place for the hook to settle and are conducive to having them slide off.  
  • I lost about three ornaments a year due to breakage from slide-offs.
  • Disassembling the tree and placing the pom pom branches back in the sleeves 121 times without damaging them is a drag. 
  • You can't string lights on it because it's a fire hazard which is why a color wheel is used instead. 
  • It doesn't fill the room with the aroma of fresh pine.

I have a smaller aluminum tree I considered displaying this year, but 2016 has been about breaking away from old traditions (ruts) and welcoming new ones with Wayne. We decided to do this instead:

I've never ever had a real Christmas tree! I never liked the idea of killing a tree to display it for a few weeks and then have it end up in the dump. But now I have a different perspective and want to explain why I gave up artifice for the real deal this year. But first, the field trip!

The Christmas tree farmhouse is from the 1700s. The attached barn is new addition but built to look old.

It was a very cold and overcast day but it was still beautiful to be outside in such a picturesque setting.

This puppy! That face! Happy dogs in sweaters make me smile and there were many families who brought theirs along.

It's a short walk to the Christmas trees.

You pick your tree from those that are tagged, tear off the bottom tag and pay.

I told Wayne I wanted a small tree, about four feet, to fit on a table. 

Look at all of the little tagged trees available! We were concerned that they would only have larger ones.

There were many more selections but we found the one we wanted!

We had them cut it down for us. Stand back! Timber!

Ok, a cute guy holding up a cute tree.

A staff member offered to take our pic for us. (The bulky sweater underneath my fleece and the way I was standing makes my hip look gigantic?!)

Another view.

A field of saplings with one fully grown tree?

The owner was super friendly and processed payments in that little shelter.

Trees and people hitched a tractor ride back.

They place the trees on this machine that gives them a good shake to remove loose needles. Afterward the tree is wrapped in netting.

Here's the gift shop which is inside that new barn addition.

Two ladies were making wreaths.

Someone else offered to take our pic. Everyone around us seemed to be in good spirits which was so refreshing after spending too much time immersed in toxic social media the past few weeks. Plus, fresh air is always a curative balm.

I realized that family owned local tree farms like The Old Farm Christmas Place can grow trees responsibly, be good for the environment and the economy by creating jobs. I loved being outdoors and around so many happy people. We're going to keep our tree out of the dump and lay it to rest and decompose in our woods after its glamorous table top stint.

Wayne's car smelled dreamy all the way home. It's really starting to feel like Christmas!

My absolute favorite part of yesterday was seeing Timmy's face literally light up when I plugged in the little lights and began to string them around the tree. He was on the floor with Wayne and stopped eating his lettuce to look up and watch with his one good eye.

I'll be back soon with pics of the decked out tree!


  1. It was great fun to be involved in Averyl's first real tree. Her face was alight during the whole process :-))

    1. sounds like a magical day from start to finish. you guys are a delight!

  2. You guys both look great in the picks! Bulky sweater and side stance... you still look TINY!!! I love that Timmy caught the spirit of Christmas, too.
    If you decide to sell your larger aluminum, please email me...!!!!!!!!
    Doesn't the house smell amazing with a real tree? Great idea letting it compost. Brilliant!!

    1. Thank you! YES I love the scent! As far as my tree I don't think I will ever part with it because of its sentimental value, and I'm sure I will display it again. If I ever do change my mind I will absolutely let you know, and first!!

    2. oh, I'm so glad to know it is staying with you! my little aluminum tree has a great back story- I wouldn't want to part with it.
      since you always seem to find amazing vintage bargains in your area, would you mind keeping your eyes peeled for a larger aluminum tree for us? just if you happen upon one...

    3. Of course! (But in about two decades of picking I have seen/bought only 3!)

    4. That's still better luck than I've had! Our little gem of a tree came from a mid-century antique shop in Phoenix about 10 years ago.

  3. What a fun outing for you two! Christmas brings out the child in each of us doesn't it? Your aluminum tree story brought back a fun memory for me. I grew up in the Rockies, where Christmas tree-worthy spruce trees were available almost just steps from our door. However, I desperately wanted an aluminum tree like my cousin in Denver had, complete with the rotating color wheel. I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen! My parents were perplexed at my envy, and needless to say, we never got one, especially when most of our trees came free (courtesy of small town barter parents owned a liquor store!). Lois

    1. Aw how cute!

      Your story reminds me of the one shared by an elderly lady I used to visit in a local assisted living home. She said she loved aluminum Christmas trees and finally bought one. Her husband hated it, said it was tacky and so she sadly got rid of it. When I told her about mine she was very excited for me and I showed her lots of pics.

      Seems like maybe you need to get an aluminum tree to fulfill that little girl's wish!

    2. Good advice! Maybe I can find a four-foot version, ha, ha!

  4. P.s. your aluminum tree is much nicer than my cousin's was! ;0

  5. You know, I miss having a real tree. That's all my mother ever bought while I was growing up and that's all I bought, too, until about 15 years ago. Only artificial trees since then. I'm thinking maybe a real tree might be in my future again. But I didn't like all the needles everywhere and the fact that my cats back then took to drinking the water out of the stand instead of their bowls. :) But our town always turned the discarded trees after Christmas into mulch. Real Christmas trees are much more environmentally friendly these days as you pointed out!

    1. I hear from other cat owners that they can't have a tree because the cat/s will see the tree and ornaments as their toys. As for the needles I think that if you buy a truly fresh tree on a farm vs one cut a week or more before you buy it, it might "shed" less. We'll see!

  6. This reminds me of my childhood in Michigan. Fresh trees, fresh air... happiness.

    1. Nice! Hopefully you can find fresh air and greenery where you are today!


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