VIDEO: Merry Christmas to All from

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December 25, 2010

When we travel in our Airstream (thoroughly documented on, we often reference the philosophy of “less is more.” You know, sometimes bigger is not necessarily better. Indeed, one reason we camp is to purposefully experience a simpler life.

Here’s an unlikely “less is more” tale that’s somewhat documented in our Christmas card video.

Best $10 we spent this year? Our Christmas tree, a real one that was among the neglected leftovers on the lot.

Just a few days ago, we were going through the season as usual, but for whatever reason had not put up a tree.

In years past, we’ve gotten some pretty large trees into our house. That history was part of the problem.

Large trees are quite lovely, but they are a bear to purchase, move, and decorate. It’s an intimidating task that wipes out much of your day. We’ve still got deep scratches on our back door from the gigantic tree we wrestled into the house a few years ago.

So this year we had been negligent on the tree trimming front. We were playing Christmas carols and putting up other decorations in our house. But NO tree! Sure, we were enjoying the season, but it felt like something was missing.

One morning it dawned on me: less is more! Our Christmas tree doesn’t need to be a redwood. My favorite Christmas cartoon is the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in which our befuddled hero takes home a neglected little tree and shows it some love. Why couldn’t we do the same?

And so we did. Since we were late to go Christmas tree shopping, almost all of the trees were gone. Our chosen $10 tree was literally among the final two trees on the lot. It’s a size I would deem “comfy” – it meets the Goldilocks criteria of being not too large, and not too small. It’s just right.

Getting it home was a breeze! I was able to lift the tree by myself and set it in the bed of our truck. I carried it inside the house by myself too. (A few years ago, just lifting our gargantuan tree was a two-man job.)

Since our tree is on the small side, we found a nice place for it in a highly visible part of our living room. A larger tree wouldn’t fit into this spot.

Once we got the tree positioned inside, we had a wonderful time sipping egg nog and decorating. Of course Kristy takes the lead on the tree trimming, while I spearhead the egg nog effort. (Seasoned with a healthy dash of Maker’s Mark and nutmeg.)

Decorating the tree required no ladders or other gymnastics. It was a cinch. It was especially a cinch for me, since I mainly just watched Kristy work her magic with twinkling lights and golden ornaments.

In the days since we brought home our little “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree,” we’ve gotten an ENORMOUS amount of enjoyment from it. Not only is the tree pretty to view, it’s served as a daily reminder of the season, and made our home feel more complete.

Our smallish tree brought us a great deal of fun and satisfaction, never once feeling like a chore. Just another example of “less is more” in action.

From our family to yours…

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Sean & Kristy

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  1. Wonderful pictures! We thghout of you as we went thru Hillsboro coming down to Cannon Beach. Sher told us there was flooding on the coast highway and our car would not get thru as the water was getting higher hence we came thru Portland.Looks like you have a great family tradition lots of fun.

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  4. Great little video you guys. Always enjoy following your adventures.
    Have a great 2011,

    Jerry X

  5. Mark & Diane Sickle

    Sean and Kristy:

    I just retired a month ago and my wife and I are starting out on our “less is more” adventure. We love your videos and your blog. Keep up the excellent work as we move into 2011. Travel safe and keep entertaining us. Our dream one day is to bump into you guys. Who knows, stranger things have happened!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Mark & Diane Sickle

  6. Mike Stockard

    Merry Christmas to you as well. Enjoy your blog. Roll Tide.

  7. Tex

    The most neglected Christmas Tree choice is surely the ‘live’ tree. The one with a humongous root ball. I think my dad had it right, though. Every year, he’d buy and bring home a live tree with a heavy ball of dirt around its roots. Speaking of wrestling with a tree and getting scratches…it was a two-man, one-kid job just to get it into a big ole metal tub in the basement so it could ‘climatize’ inside. It was a physical investment in the tree.

    So then, after a few days, the tree’s branches would ‘naturalize’, and we’d take it upstairs to the living room. Another two-man, one-kid (maybe two) effort…tub and root ball and tree. A week prior to Christmas. Then we’d start decorating it the next day after it got used to the warmth of the house.

    After Christmas, maybe New Year’s day, we’d un-decorate the tree and schedule it for its TRANSPLANT to somewhere on the property. Now, just think about digging a hole in Northwest Ohio in January that is big enough for a seven-foot evergreen. At least double the root ball size and about 30 inches deep…in frozen tundra with just shovels, and maybe a mattock or pick.

    Somehow, every year we did it, and by the end of our childhood years at home, we had a nice little pine tree forest growing, some with a few leftover silver ‘icecicles’ hanging on them for months.

    That little pine forest that would not have existed if my dad hadn’t annually picked out the ‘neglected’ kind of Christmas Tree. The live one.

    Best Regards and Merry Christmas!