Going out to the curb with today's trash is our "second" real Christmas Tree. The one in the house that we cut down after Thanksgiving went out last week, but we've had another one outside our house - in our front yard that was lit for the final time last night.
Elmhurst has a nice tradition of putting "front yard trees" in for the holidays - and our street participates in an especially strong fashion - almost every house buys a tree and lights it up for the Christmas season.
I'm (nor is my sister who lives also lives on the block) not sure where or when the tradition started, but in most parts of town, there's pockets of these real, fresh cut trees that spring up in late November. The trees are a fundraiser (I think) for the grade school district. They send around a flyer a few weeks early where you order them - they cost $17 a piece. You have to go get a big stake (ours from Ace Hardware) and wrap the trunk to the stake so it won't tip over.
The trees arrive on a Saturday morning - and the neighborhood gathers in one of the yards to collect their trees. It is a nice morning - the hosts provide coffee and donuts and we get out of our house to see each other for an hour or so. There's lots of kids on our block - so they run around and get crazy - which is fun. The whole thing didn't have ONE THING TO DO WITH A STRIPMALL. See you urban hipsters, us suburbanites aren't all so bland.
The trees aren't big - ours was probably 5 feet tall - but at night when you drive down the block, the trees look really great. Next year, we'll try to snap a photo of all of them lit up!
So long, yard tree. We'll see you again next year.