Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like a Dead Tree

  1. Our Christmas tree died on Dec. 6. It was a sad day for me to hear ornaments dropping like flies. I’ve never seen anything die quite as fast. This was our first real tree in about 8 years. Now I remember why we go fake.
  2. My hubby got on a “What do you want for Christmas” ask-fest. I finally answered: for all the kitchen cabinets, drawers, shelves, to be organized and cleaned.
  3. Christmas came early for me.
  4. Related: What is it about a man tossing out old batteries, wiping down sticky shelves, cutting new contact paper that is just plain old sexy?
  5. My local Chick Fil A considers me a regular customer. At the drive-up the other day,  they handed me a large plastic up like they’d been waiting for me. And now I’m allowed unlimited sweet tea for .75. I wept.
  6. I’m done Christmas shopping. I’m a terrible wrapper.
  7. We celebrated my youngest’s birthday early. For the first time, we tried tricking her since it falls so close to Christmas and our anniversary, etc. Turns out she’s smarter than we thought and her birthday lasted a full week this year.
  8. My neck pain has been much more manageable  thanks to a new little pill.
  9. Related: don’t mix said pill with your first ever margarita at your husband’s Christmas dinner.
  10. Unrelated: I am not a druggie.
  11. Today is my 39th birthday (for the first time, really)
  12. When Maureen and I Skype, we use a lot of emoticons. And lately, we’ve been planning her wedding. It’s going to be lovely, we just need a groom.
  13. There’s a small colony of fruit flies living in my kitchen. They are multiplying as I type. Halp.
  14. Our 4th Mercy House baby was born just a few days ago! We now have 3 boys, 1 girl all under the age of 4 months! Another on the way….
  15. I mailed the last of the Mercy House Shop orders on Friday. A host of volunteers helped get the hundreds of packages ready. I was in a hurry and took the last box to the post office. I was taping with one hand and talking to my mom with the other. About an hour later, it dawned on me that I taped up all our family Christmas cards inside a strangers’ order. Oh, and a rented Redbox movie.
  16. I need a break.
  17. I have a couple of posts scheduled this week and reruns for next week. I don’t know if I’ve ever looked more forward to time with my kids and family.
  18. I don’t plan on being on the computer much the next couple of weeks. I do plan to make some cookies for neighbors, put some puzzles together, create some family art and a lot of new memories.
  19. My youngest had her last Christmas Preschool Christmas program ever. She was an angel. Again, like last year. I thought she might take Mary down. #bitterangel 
  20. Yesterday at church, our family read Scripture on the stage. It was beautiful. Only people didn’t know that my son was so nervous, he whispered he might throw up about 2 seconds before we started reading or that my youngest thought her puffy Christmas dress was stupendous (her way of saying stupid). 
  21. Just keeping it real.
  22. My hubby got our son a Daisy BB Gun for Christmas with a scope. I’m pretty sure he’s waited his whole life for this. #redneckChristmas
  23. I woke up the other morning and discovered my hubby had gotten up at 5 am to drag down and decorate our old fake tree. It was such a sweet surprise. I married up.
  24. Our neighbor’s little boy asked me how old I was turning. When I said 39, he did some quick figuring and said, “Wow. You are 10 years older than my Dad.” Even I was surprised.
  25. The dead tree is just outside Bake at 350’s kitchen window. (Sorry, Bridget, we will dispose of it). My 5 year old asked me if it died of old age.
  26. Yes, I think it was 39.


  1. 2

    Debbie says

    Sounds like a lovely Christmas.

    Note about going the real tree route (well according to my parents, because I’m only 22 and haven’t bought my own before), never get it that early, and water it lots! Remember you kill it when you cut it down and just like fresh cut flowers they won’t always last long.

    Merry Christmas!!!

  2. 3


    Happy Birthday! Sorry to hear about your tree. That doesn’t help. Problem is, they cut them a long time before Christmas, so they are so old before they even get to the lot. But, I will say, they weren’t 39, but perhaps 45? You have a great sense of humor and it is very refreshing.

  3. 4

    Carley says

    For the fruit flies, apple cider vinegar (or probably any type of vinegar) and a drop or two of dish soap in a small bowl. They are attracted to the vinegar and then they drown in it! Very satisfying.

  4. 7


    Happiest of Birthdays to YOU!

    It sounds like business doesn’t even begin to describe everything going on with you, but it’s all for a great cause. Yay for new babies, new memories, new HOPE found in Jesus at this time of year.

  5. 9

    Roxanne says

    Happy Birthday! Great to know we share birthdays! I’m turning 39 today (for the 5th year in a row!)

    Have a special day!

  6. 10


    Happy birthday! We’ll both hold onto 39 for dear life this year. I only have until June, so I may be a wee bit jealous. :) Enjoy your time away from the computer (though we’ll miss you) and have a fabulous birthday and Christmas!

  7. 11


    Nothing says Christmas like a dead Christmas tree out your kitchen window. 😉 Ha! Maybe we could throw some tinsel on it?

    First ever margarita?!? Oh, honey. I have clearly not been doing my job as “bad influence” neighbor.


  8. 14

    Deb Wilson says

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for the laughs this AM. I think “I married up” was my favorite. Mind if I use it? :) Hope your day is great.

  9. 15


    Happy Birthday Kristen! Sorry for the dead tree experience – min is dropping needles like crazy; I’m holding onto hope that it can last one more week!
    Apparently, fruit flies like to live in drains (who knew? but we had the same problem a few months ago), so to kill them, you pour some ammonia down all of your drains at night and put something over the drain to cover until morning. We did it with all of our drains, even in the bathrooms to be extra vigilant even though we only saw the flies in the kitchen. They disappeared and we haven’t seen them since. Good luck!

  10. 16

    Rachel says

    Love this post and your always keeping it real approach – you are my idol!!!

    Best ever trap for fruit flys – place some type of fruit in a bowl – the riper the better – cover with saran wrap and then poke small holes all over. They are drawn to the fruit, fly in the holes but can’t get out. In a few days you’ll have a nasty bowl with bazillions of fruit flies in it (ps they do fly around in there, feel free to let them fly or squish them on the side of the bowl). You may want to do this a couple of times but it totally works!!

    Happy Birthday!

  11. 17

    Mickey says

    happy birthday, happy anniversary, Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time with your family as much as we love reading your blog-which is a lot!
    blessings to you all

  12. 18

    Amanda says

    You are too funny! Happy Birthday! Someone e-mailed me a link to your blog a couple months ago, and I am HOOKED! Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time with your family <3!!!

  13. 19


    Happy birthday! You share with Jon Acuff!

    I want to say I am happy for you about your kitchen cabinets, but…hmmmmm…. I’m a wee bit envious, jealous, green with envy! That is a great gift!

    When my husband asks what I want for Christmas, I think he would prefer I say something materialistic and I never do. I also never get what I ask for!

    I’m glad you mentioned your redneck Christmas though, because between your family pictures and a husband who gets up early o change out the tree… I was going to cry. Instead, I laughed. :-)

    Merry Christmas, beautiful soul.

  14. 20


    Hi Kristen,
    I have read your blog for a couple of years – you amaze me! I laughed so hard as I read your post today – stupendous dresses, terrible wrapping, and sending the Christmas cards in the stranger’s box! The keeping it real is the biggest connection!!! Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Thank You for putting it out there…all the time! Laurin

  15. 21


    I am sure that this may be already said.. but for fruit flies.. put 1/4 a up of apple cider vinegar in a shallow bowl, add a few drops of sish soap… flies are atracted to it and drown.. set the bowl near where you see the most fruit flies!!!!

  16. 23


    GREAT thoughts.

    As for the fruit flies… put a bowl of apple cider vinegar and a drop or two of dish soap. Stir… the flies will be attracted to the smell, land and then the soap will stick them to the solution. Crazy, but it works.

  17. 25

    Kim B. in AZ says

    First off Happy Birthday. Thank you for keeping it real on your blog. Your writing encourages me to be a better christen, to live a life closer to God. So blog writers with out intending to I am sure,s write in such a way as to make you think they have not a problem in the world and can do anything perfectly. In fact sometimes people get that impression of other in person because they always see are best. Hmm I think there is a lesson there somewhere. Anyway my point is I always walk away from reading your blog challenged or encouraged and not beating myself up because I am not naturally talented at anything.

  18. 26


    Happy Birthday Kristen!! Hope it is a great one. You guys did awesome reading at church, would have never known your son wasn’t feeling well. Yeah for the hubs bringing down the old tree. Your post reminded me of why we don’t get a real one. WE got a real wreath and scentsy for the smell instead. ;0) Hope you guys have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  19. 31


    Happy Brilliant Birthday!!! So hope you get the break you need because you have totally earned it!!! Thank you for all the inspiration and effort… just can’t thank you enough for all your hard work. Have a brilliant year!!!

  20. 33


    This made me smile all the way through!!!! We have also experience a premature Christmas tree death, although Dec 6th has to be some sort of record 😉

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  21. 34

    MichelleH says

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1st ‘Rita? At 39? You’ve got some catching up to do. 😉

    ‘I married up’ is the absolute sweetest. I love how it sums up a whole lot of love and admiration in one little phrase.

  22. 35


    oh, this made me smile big.

    we need to stop talking about it and drink sweet tea together. 2 weeks ago, we thought we were moving to california. now we are not. more like huntsville. (same thing, right?) there is no excuse for this meeting not to happen. {also, where do y’all go to church? with this move, we’ll be looking again.}

    and happy, happy birthday!
    drink lots of sweet tea. :)

  23. 36

    Jen A. says

    This made me laugh! You are a hoot! Happy Birthday!! You happen to share your special day with a great guy….my hubby! Enjoy your much needed time off. May you come back refreshed : ) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  24. 37

    Anita says

    Happy Birthday to You, Kirsten and to your daughter!

    Fruit Fly trap….. use a pint jar (or any small jar) put a piece of very ripe fruit in it… just a little bit – cover top with plastic wrap (like Saran) held on with elastic band. Poke a few tiny holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick, but not too close to the edge. The fruit flies go in the jar through the holes but cannot get back out (unless your holes are too close to the edge). Then you can drown them. This works so well!!

    Happy Christmas to you and yours…. and Blessed rest and unwind…

  25. 38

    Mindy says

    Hi! Just wanted to say I’ve been following you for a while now and LOVE your blog, LOVE your insight, LOVE your humour, LOVE your keeping it real, LOVE your Mery Mission, LOVE your pregnant girls,LOVE your family; and wish you a Wonderful Christmas break and all the best!!

  26. 40

    Debbie says

    Happy Birthday! Same thing happend to us when we were living overseas. The tree died and we had to undecorate and redecoarte the new one. It’s not nearly as much fun the second time around.

  27. 41

    Ellen says

    You have made my day that originally started out very badly with a teenager with an attitude. lol Thank you for posting what is real because I am discouraged by the Facebook posts about women having their shopping/baking/wrapping/decorating/everything done perfectly. Because I apparently keep it real like you do. And what is up with the fruit flies?? They have been a menace this year. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  28. 42


    Oh my heart! This is just the best thing I read on the Internets all week. Maybe all year. I laughed so hard. And I so needed that laugh seeing as apparently my daughter has made a pact with herself never to sleep again. Unless it’s on my face.

    I love you Kristen,

  29. 43


    bless my heart ~~ this is my first visit to your blog (from incourage) and i giggled like a schoolgirl. since i am five years older than you my schoolgirl days are way behind me. #9, never had one either. #12 hysterical! funny how our oldest uses stupendous to really mean stupid also. his sisters just don’t quite know it yet 😉

    thanks for a wonderful laugh!

  30. 44

    Emily says

    Thank you, Kristen, for keeping it real. It’s been a very challenging two days and you reminded me to laugh and rest in Jesus and laugh some more. Happy birthday!

  31. 45


    Had a great chuckle at #22. Last Christmas, my hubby got our entire family (4 of us) a bb gun each. . . so we could shoot together. :) I’m pretty sure he had waited his entire life for it too and I’m pretty sure I joked with my friends about our redneck gifts! Love your blog and hope you had a wonderful bday.

  32. 47

    Annette says

    Kristen, thanks for keeping it real!!! I needed this tonight! Wishing you a Happy Birthday and a Merry Christmas. 39 isn’t bad. I love when my twins, almost five, use words “they think” are right but NOT!! My daughter’s word of the day was hilarious. It’s very funny come out of a 4 1/2 year old.
    Maybe the real tree will work out better next year. Don’t worry I killed mine on the second day this year. With hubby gone and 3 little ones it slipped my mind to water it!! However, it’s doing okay.

  33. 48


    Kristen, I love you. You are hysterical. Boy do I wish you lived close by so I could give you a big birthday squeeze and remind you how young 39 is! (I’m getting ready to be 36!) And I love that you love Jesus! Who cares how old we are really? Anyway, I’m a FB fan but am going to also subscribe to get your emails. I want to laugh my head off at your funny sayings as I’m standing in line at Walmart about to scream. Seriously.
    In Him,

  34. 49


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  35. 50


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