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Once I had the house cleaned up from Thanksgiving, the Christmas decorating began. I have a LOT of holiday decorations, so it usually takes me a weekend to get the house done, with the tree being the last thing I do. We keep the artificial tree whole (sans decorations) in a bag that we store outside in the garage. We have had this tree for close to 20 years and for the past 5 it looked hideous before I worked my magic,

but once decorated, you couldn't tell a thing was wrong.

Well, not so this year. As we were moving it inside, it wasn't wanting to stand up. We undid the bag, pulled it down and found the cause.

Somehow the base had bent. How that happened, who knows. Clay attempted to fix it, but I was afraid it would fall once decorated, so I decided it was time for a new fake tree. Clay wanted to go with me to buy one, which was an early warning sign. Clay will help me as needed, but holiday decorations are not his thing. I figured I would need help getting it in the car anyway, so why not let him go with me. I told him we were going to go to Home Depot and Target and compare the two. He was amazed that we would actually go back and forth. Clay is big on buying the first thing he likes, without comparison shopping--not me. As we were headed to the store, Clay told me we should get a technology tree. I had no idea what one of those was but was keeping an open mind. I was looking for a nice tree, pre-lit, and a bit narrower than our previous one. Since we entertain a lot during the holidays, space can be at a premium.

We made it to store number 1 and looked over our options. The innovative technology trees (all light strings are seamlessly connected within the tree trunk, and you have a remote control that you can change the light colors to a myriad of options) ((I prefer white)), were quite a bit more expensive than the normal artificial tree.

There was one that was a tad more narrow, but Clay didn't like the larger lights as well. They were both pricier than what I wanted to spend, but there was a sign saying they were 20% off for 5 days only, and Clay had a gift certificate, so it was a contender. We went next door to store number 2. They had a technology tree and it looked great to me and it was quite a bit less expensive. Clay thought the lights were cheap and it had less tips. How he became an expert on artificial Christmas trees in a one afternoon, I have no idea. Since he mentioned tips along with lights, I mistakenly assumed there were more lights, which I would prefer. Tips is the number of small branches. In reality, I would have preferred less tips, which would have made decorating easier. So, yes, you guessed it. We went back to store number 1 and loaded up the larger tree, with more tips and better lights, and proceeded to the checkout. It rang up with the price on the tag. I told the clerk that they were 20% off today, but she said she thought the price was already 20% lower. I went back and checked, and there was confusion even among the employees in the holiday section, but a manager showed me the price tag. In smaller printing it said original price, and in larger letters was the discounted price next to an even larger sign that said all artificial trees 20% off for 5 days only. I think it was a bit of false advertising, but at least we did have the gift certificate. We bought it and loaded it up and I will be going back to check their prices after 5 days!

Once we got it home, we found it was actually taller than our last one once in the stand, and just as wide. It even looked nice without decorations

and is even nicer now that it is decorated

and Clay is having a great time with the remote changing the color scheme of the lights.

Eventually they will be all white! Let's hope this technologically advanced tree is still pre-lit when we put it up next year!

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