November 22nd, 2008
Update 4/12/2011: Our tree developed some serious issues with its lights. Tree Classics offered to repair it for us, but between the time we took it down and the time we were going to ship it, seems to have disappeared. Others in the comments below have reported similar experiences. It seems they may have gone out of business or have something shady going on. Even before that, I started to have trouble with their customer service. See the comments for more.
A few years ago, not long after we got married, it was getting close to Christmas — the first Christmas we’d spent together. We set out one Saturday morning in Indianapolis to find a Christmas tree. We both have allergies, so a real tree was out of the question. An artificial tree it is.
We went to the mall. We went to Sears, to Target, and to any number of other places that I’m sure I’m forgetting. We saw trees that spun, trees that had red needles, trees with fiber optics in them, trees with some incredibly fake-looking snow, pre-decorated “generic” trees, and all sorts of things that just screamed “tacky.”
What we didn’t find were trees that looked like… trees. I think there were a few Terah would have been OK with, until I had to veto them on the grounds that they were too fake, too short, to skinny, or whatever.
So I thought I’d check the Internet. I came upon Tree Classics, and we ordered a 7.5ft Evergreen Supreme. We (or, well, *I*) got some good-natured teasing for being crazy enough to order a tree over the Internet. This was before people were quite used to the idea that you can buy anything online — and, as far as I know, Tree Classics was the only company (except perhaps for Sears) selling trees online back then.
But it arrived and we put it up and liked it. It looked like a tree, it was nice and full. And it shipped direct from the manufacturing plant in Illinois.
The downside to that particular tree was that it took several hours to assemble each year. Over the years, whatever unlucky family members happened to be visiting our house over Thanksgiving would get a nice Thanksgiving dinner — and then a pile of tree branches to shape. We started getting more haphazard over the years, and this year, decided that our now 7-year-old tree had survived three moves and a toddler, and we could do with a new, easier-to-assemble model.
So I hopped online again. We didn’t even bother with the big box stores this year. There are more places selling Christmas trees these days, but we wound up buying another tree from Tree Classics. They had basically the same types of trees as other places, but a wider selection and generally better prices. Though their website isn’t quite as fancy.
We got a 7.5ft Kensington Spruce this year. It arrived Monday and we set to assembling it as soon as we could. Our Christmas tree has had this tradition of getting put up on about Dec. 23 and then staying up until about Valentine’s Day because we are great at procrastinating with the long job of assembling it (and the almost-as-long job of disassembling it.)
We got a pre-lit tree (standard incandescent white light bulbs, of course) this year. It came in about 4, rather than several dozen, sections. The injection-molded branch ends are amazingly realistic.
We got it assembled in record time. But it didn’t look very full. The injection-molded ends seemed all squished together, and despite following the instructions, didn’t really bend out like we thought they should.
So Terah called Tree Classics today. The woman that answered gave her a tip on how to do it (“splay” them out, side to side, then shape them up and down after that). She’s got it started, and we’ll probably finish out the shaping tomorrow.
Tree Classics had also exchanged a few emails with me prior to our purchase to help answer questions about whether their current trees are easier to assemble than their prior ones, and questions about the appearance of their different standard and LED pre-lit options.
Overall, we’ve been happy with them and will order from them again in the future, I’m sure.