Christmas Tree Story-2023

Okay, friends. I don’t know about you but I absolutely LOVE my house all decorated for Christmas. I’m in the minority when I say I enjoy the days getting dark early because it gives us a reason to come inside and all hang together. My mama heart loves that! Add in twinkling lights and a fire and I’m in Christmas season heaven.

But one thing I really don’t enjoy doing is the actual labor of decorating for Christmas. Lugging tubs out of the attic and downstairs, pulling the tree down and carrying it downstairs, making a huge mess before it starts to look good…I don’t like any part of that! I’ve tried all different kinds of things…Christmas music with a movie, tried to get my family super involved, do it on my own, etc…and well, no matter what it’s just not my favorite thing. I’m just setting the back story for you. 🙂

Last year our house was “finished” {I say that lightly because the construction crew still came almost daily during December but we were able to move in} at the beginning of December. Instead of going through the attic and making an even bigger mess, a friend had told me about this great flocked tree. It was from Amazon, such a good price, and she absolutely loved hers. She sent me pics…

Her tree looked DARLING, right? Absolutely stunning!

So I ordered it {because I didn’t have a flocked tree and felt like they were all the rage. also, I’d like to add that I think the tree was around $300. I can’t find it on my Amazon account but that’s what I remember paying-something in that ballpark} and I just put it up without any decor. The pre-lit tree gave us a little of the twinkling light magic and we made it work. I remember thinking-that tree doesn’t look so good but I had so much on my plate with moving back in that I didn’t really think much about it.

Enter this year. 🙂

My plan for the flocked tree was to put it in our front room and make it a little more “formal” with matching decor where our tree in the living room is full of ornaments that have special meanings. That living room tree is completely mismatched but I absolutely love that it holds all those sweet family memories. I take a trip to Hobby Lobby to grab all kinds of silver and gold ornaments for this new flocked tree…picks, garland, ornaments…I got a wide variety and spent about $100. I put the tree up and added all the stuff and this is what it looked like…

Another view…

Friends, it was TERRIBLE! It was so bare! There were giant gaping holes in the middle and well, it looked awful. Remember how I mentioned Christmas decorating isn’t my favorite? URRRGGGG!!! The next day I saw a lot of baseball moms and showed them these pictures begging for help. First of all…I learned which friend enjoys decorating and has SKILLS and secondly I was told-I need way more “stuff”.

That Christmas decorating skilled friend told me about the My Texas House Collection from Walmart. It has GREAT ribbon and other “extras”. So back to the store I went…this time spending about $75 on lots more ribbon, more ornaments, and anything else I could find. I decided to add some red and green since the really pretty ribbon came in those colors. Then back to Hobby Lobby to grab a few more things in that colorway {there goes another $100ish}.

At this point, I’ve spent ALMOST $600 on this “cheap” tree…

It started looking better, but it still was far from darling. I’m absolutely convinced I got the “lemon” of the Amazon tree lot when it comes to this flocked tree. Let me remind you what my friend’s tree looks like…

It. Is. Darling!

The finished product because at this point I am DONE with this tree! {At one point I considered throwing it out on the curb…hahahahha!}. My “cheap” tree turned into me wishing I’d just spent more on a fuller tree AND I’m still convinced I got the “lemon” of Christmas trees. Also, if you look closely doesn’t it look like this tree has a waistline? It goes in right in the middle of the tree and well, it’s just gonna have to be like that.

I tried to find a parallel to my own life {because you guys, this tree haunted me for days} and I kept thinking about how thankful I am that God’s still working on me. What trouble I’d be in if he gave me one shot, stepped back, looked at me and thought well, that’s as good as she’s gonna get. Right? So next year, I’ll pull this tree out again because I’m a sucker. I’ll set it up, look at all the holes and I’m going to do my best to think about all the ways God worked on me during the year. And if I’m being honest, then I’ll probably sigh, scream, and have a terrible attitude about decorating this awful tree. Sometimes God might feel the same way, but he keeps working. And I will too.

And if you’re in the market for a new Christmas tree, learn from my mistake. Just spent a little bit more now on a nicer tree. Your future Christmas decorating self will definitely thank you!

Happy Thursday, Friends!


Leave a Comment


  1. 11.16.23
    AngieN said:

    Thank you for sharing, Erika! And what a great reminder! I love and appreciate how real you are. Hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Hi Angie! I thought it was such a funny thing-like this tree I tried to not spend a ton of money on looked absolutely terrible! And in the end I spent almost more than the tree itself. And next year I’ll probably grab some more things to add to make it look even better. Just one of those life lessons, I guess. Happy Thanksgiving!!

      • 11.16.23
        Michelle said:

        Oh, Gosh! Love this real post. I also love it when everything is decorated for Christmas but I don’t enjoy the process getting there.

  2. 11.16.23
    Elspeth said:

    Such a good reminder this time of year, in all seriousness, I think the tree looks great!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you Elspeth! It wasn’t exactly the quick “let’s throw the tree up with some decor” moment I was hoping for. haha!

  3. 11.16.23
    Sheaffer said:

    Who knew there were so many lessons to be learned from a Christmas treee!!!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      FOR REAL! And these comments have me thinking there are even more lessons I could learn!

  4. 11.16.23
    Becky said:

    I love this. It made me think of this quote: Never ever for one second did God look at us and say, ‘My goal for this one is to simply be good enough. With Jesus we are better than good enough because He steps in and fulfills what we cannot do on our own.’

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Becky, LOVE this! Thank you for sharing!

  5. 11.16.23
    Elizabeth said:

    It definitely looks a lot different than you friends tree! maybe the way she fluffed or decorated hers? I’d have her come over and help! My aunt has a friend come help decorate her house for christmas every year with her, and I’m super jealous. I need a personal christmas decorator! Since it is not your “main” Christmas tree I really wouldnt stress it though! Its just a little extra Christmas magic in another room 🙂

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Now it’s funny….that week I was putting it up the tree was a stressful topic! All good now though! I really should see about switching off duties with a friend!

  6. 11.16.23
    Amy Heinl said:

    your tree is very pretty and your friends are right..the more you overstuffed your tree the better it looks.
    I used to decorate trees for our local Festival of Trees and that was one of the first thing we learned. Secondly your tree doesn’t look like it’s fluffed enough. Did you pull and straighten every branch..thats critical so your tree doesn’t get a waist in the middle…lol. Your friends tree seems heavily flocked and yours doesn’t look flocked at all…I think that it is why it is throwing you off when you look at yours versus hers. You did a great job and it turned out pretty.

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Amy! All of my baseball moms kept asking me…have you fluffed it yet? ha!

  7. 11.16.23
    Cindy G said:

    this is such a funny story, but just remember – “t’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s who is around it ” – Charlie Brown

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      CINDY!! YES!! And I’m sure Charlie would add, “It also doesn’t matter what that tree looks like”!!

  8. 11.16.23
    Jessica said:

    Oh this story made me lol. Thank you for sharing. For what it’s worth I think your tree looks pretty cute now 🙂 and I love the parallel to God’s work on us. Have a great day!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Jessica!

  9. 11.16.23
    Liz said:

    It’s tilted a little too – it’s h your poor little tree! 💗 thanks for the fun story today – love your realistic lifestyle content the most!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I forgot to add that! Yes, Liz! It has a bit of a lean! That was the first thing Tab did when he got home and saw it for the first time. He tugged on the other side. The tree is a bit like me…a tad stubborn so she went right back to her leaning position.

  10. 11.16.23
    Joan said:

    That was really uplifting and something I need to think about. Such a great reminder that we are all “works in progress”!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      DEFINITELY!! Thanks for your comment, Joan!

  11. 11.16.23
    Mary Ellen said:

    Your writing feels like you are just chatting with me over coffee- you always just “keep it real” and that is why I love your blog so much!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      My high school English teacher would have a FIT over this post but I do a much better job getting my point across if I write like I talk. ;). THANK YOU!

  12. 11.16.23
    Jennifer sickle said:

    Are you sure it is put together correctly?I am wondering if the middle section (waist section) should be moved up one and that section move down?

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Jennifer, someone else asked me that and I checked it. It’s the right way. Are you perplexed too?

      • 11.16.23
        Jen J said:

        I was going to ask the same thing. Maybe the middle and bottom are reversed? I actually just made this mistake myself on a new flocked tree.

        • 11.17.23
          Erika Slaughter said:

          I checked it but that would have made a lot of sense!

  13. 11.16.23
    Shanna said:

    Ok, so maybe there were a few bumps in the road with the tree I recommended, but in the end, she’s gorgeous. Waistline and all! 😂😂

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      YOUR tree is gorgeous!!

  14. 11.16.23

    My Type-A self cannot even fathom the mess this lemon of a flock tree makes. Is white stuff everywhere? I feel the need to come over right now with my Dyson.

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      No, I WISH that were my issue with this tree! When I put it up there was white stuff on the floor but I just vacuumed it up.

  15. 11.16.23
    Laura said:

    Love the post! I think one reason your friend’s tree looks so good is most of her “stuff” is white. It looks like some of the blank spaces are filled in with white puffy balls/ornaments/etc. That would help yours and trick your eye a bit.

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Laura, that’s my plan for next year-you know at this point why stop spending money on the “cheap tree”. haha! I think I’ll get some white!

  16. 11.16.23

    You got the “lemon” of Christmas trees. I LOL’d!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Don’t you think?! It WAS TERRIBLE!

  17. 11.16.23
    Kylie said:

    Cracking up at the tree having a waistline 😂 I see it, but it also looks great with more “stuff”! Your work here is done!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank, Kylie! haha!

  18. 11.16.23
    Amy Ms. Azza said:

    I actually love the finished product of your tree, I think it looks amazing!! And I love your analogy too. All I can think about is Tab’s reaction to you spending $600 on your “cheap” tree. HAHAHA

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      FOR REAL!!! He actually had me stop him before I verbally added up all I’d spent!

  19. 11.16.23
    Laurie said:

    This is why we get a real tree every year. We get the make it our own.

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Laurie, is it super messy?

  20. 11.16.23
    Jen said:

    That def. can’t be the same tree! I give you a lot of credit for keeping trying. I think I would have just gotten rid of it. Are you sure you can’t figure out where you got it and write the company?

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      It was from Amazon! Definitely and I used my friend’s link. I’m glad you’re in agreement-dif tree!

  21. 11.16.23
    Beth said:

    Okay…I love this post because it’s real life! I got a good laugh. Most content on social media,etc. is so over the top (probably fake…ha!) so this made me feel like I’m not the only one that doesn’t get giddy about decorating. I love the decor and spirit and how my house looks when it’s done. But, mercy, it’s hard work!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Beth! Completely AGREE! It’s hard work!!

  22. 11.16.23
    Christine said:

    Love this post today Erika! So AUTHENTIC! I think your tree looks gorgeous. Good job mama!

    • 11.16.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      You’re very sweet, Christine! Thank you!

  23. 11.16.23
    Toni :0) said:

    Mad props to you because I’d never get myself to do a flocked tree. The mess would drive me insane on my wood floors. 🤣

  24. 11.16.23
    stacy said:

    I love this, so relatable 🙂

  25. 11.17.23
    Alison said:

    Girl… that sounds exactly like my life. I love that you’re so real, and I’m so sorry you got the lemon. 😉 I hope you have a better day

    • 11.17.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Alison, no worries! I’m over it now. Until next year when I’m putting it up and mad. ha!