Like many of you, I prefer an artificial tree to the real deal. With an artificial tree, I am able to decorate as early as I want which is usually Thanksgiving Day. With a live tree, there is the worry of drying out, needles everywhere, keeping it watered, as well as the fire hazard. I never understood the concept of cutting down a beautiful tree to enjoy for a few weeks. My parents use to buy a real potted Christmas tree to decorate and enjoy, then planted it in their backyard after the holidays – a great idea!

Our last artificial tree was with us for many years. Last year, I noticed that the trunk had split and I was unable to repair it. After scouring the after-Christmas sales, I was unable to find my perfect tree at the perfect price.

Then, a few weeks ago while shopping at one of our favorite thrift stores, Carol called me over to look at a Christmas tree. It was the perfect height (at 7 ft. tall) and smaller in diameter for our small living room. It was exactly what I was looking for, and at $9.95, the perfect tree for my family.


This year, I chose to decorate the tree with beautiful silk poinsettias that I purchased for only 10 cents each while shopping the after-Christmas sales last year. I added beautiful sprays of feathers and branches (also 10 cents each) atop the tree and filled the tree with gold and red Christmas ornaments.

The after-Christmas sales are a great time to grab beautiful decorations for very little money. After years of shopping, I’ve discovered a general rule of thumb about when stores mark down their merchandise:

  • 50% off the day after Christmas
  • 75% off the day after New Years
  • 90% off about 7-14 days after New Years; you have to call or check back daily to grab the best deals

Of course, this depends on the store, so don’t assume. Ask, ask, ask; then ask a different clerk, because many times you’ll get different answers.

This is my favorite decorated tree from all the years past. It is an example of what we can accomplish with very little money and a little imagination.