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Walk four or five blocks in any direction and you will suddenly stumble upon a large selection of Christmas trees. This city can be so brilliantly convenient.

A 10 year-old girl named Ava, who must be from some cute woodsy place like Vermont or New Hampshire, will gleefully bound over to you and start describing the the variety of trees available.

Is it legal for a 10 year-old to sell trees? I’m not so sure but I can’t let these so-called child labor laws ruin my holiday merriment. Ok, I am not overflowing with Christmas cheer this year but I am hoping a tree will kick start the joy.

“How much is this one?” I ask Ava.

“Oh that’s 60 dollars.” she responds.

“Ok. I’ll take it.”

I don’t even try to barter. I can’t nickel and dime this sweet girl who probably has dreams of starting her own tree farm someday.

“So Ava, where are you from anyway? Up North?” I ask.

“Oh I just live across the street. They hire me every year to help sell trees.”

Damn city kids.

If you haven’t yet stomped away in disgust for being outsmarted by a darling elementary school kid, Ava will then wrap up your tree and even saw off the extra branches.

Should a 10 year-old really be using a saw?

My dad, Dylan and I drag the tree home (although free delivery is available) and we attempt to place the tree in the stand. But the stump is too darn fat.

Apparently, 10 year-olds totally suck at sawing trees.

So I get down on my knees and do it myself.

Oh, I didn’t realize Rick was taking pictures. Ok, I made my dad do it.

Should a 65 year-old man really be using a saw?

At least he’s not wearing his fancy tracksuit.Β  I don’t want to be responsible for the demise of my dad’s favorite threads.

Finally, my daughters did some decorating, mostly focusing on the lower right hand quadrant of the tree.

I’m not sure what that piece of red cardboard is all about… but I think it’s yuletide edgy.

mama bird notes:

Looking for a cute holiday gift? How about sending some good thoughts? Click on drooling over this to read more and take advantage of a mama bird discount.

One mama is looking for ideas on earth friendly wrapping paper. Have a tip for her? Click on askamama and share your brilliance.

And finally this week I’m giving away tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, staring the Radio City Rockettes! One New York area mama bird will win 4 tickets to the 4 pm show on December 28th.

To enter, just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and tell me what you imagine is the best perk about being a Rockette.

44 Responses to how to buy a christmas tree in manhattan

  • Molly says:

    Can i get Ava’s info? i could really use some help in marketing and I’m thinking she may be a genius. Being skilled with sharp cutting instruments is an extra added bonus in a design studio.

  • mayberry says:

    I love Christmas in NYC–just walking to the subway you pass all those tree places and just breathe in that wonderful smell (and how often do you say THAT about the streets of NYC?!).

  • Terra says:

    I can’t wait to see it all done up! We always do a real tree (posted about it this weekend!) I still think I need to get my tail to NYC someday…Even if 10 year olds will swindle me out of all my money! Still sending big hugs out to you from blogger land – stay strong.

  • kristen says:

    my girl has been BEGGING to get our tree – am i scrooge because we get ours mid-month?

    yours is very pretty and round – i don’t care much for spindly Christmas trees…i’m sure it’s because of Ava.

  • Aimee says:

    HA! I laughed out loud for this post! I can’t believe you “only” paid $60…as about 5 years back I bought a charlie brown tree on the upper east side for $30 smackers! It was literally the size of half my leg! …anyway I always found it so interesting how the line the streets of NYC -as what other options to locals have?
    I will happen to be in the city while the hubby is on on business on Monday if you happen to be around and want to grab a cup of coffee πŸ™‚

  • Robyn says:

    Where are the pictures of you lugging this tree down NYC streets? THAT’S what I want to see!

    I miss a real tree — your place must smell SO nice. As soon as we’re confident Bear won’t climb it or knock it down, we’re going back to the real thing.

  • Daphne says:

    Love the 10 year old with a saw! I do miss NYC.
    The Rockettes came begging at my door once they got a load of my gorgeously short gams, but I sent those broads packing. I\\\’m a busy lady, you know.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    I think I saw Ava at the circus; she’s a midget. This is her Holiday Job till the circus returns. In a few days, the papers will be full of all the fires started by Xmas trees and the jerks who let them dry out, put them close to the electric heaters or candles, or leave them up till end of January when they’re turning to dust and the electric Xmas decorations are still turned on. Bah Humbug…

  • Tully's Mama says:

    We have “real” Christmas trees in California but since it stopped being in the 80s two days ago, it’s not the most practical to have in the home. I am wicked good at fluffing up my “fake”, pre-lit (there is nothing like not having to string lights….) tree that has been stuffed in a box for 11 months. However, as a native Oregonian where there were actual tree farms in my neighborhood, I do miss the smell of a true pine. Just not the needles and the scary use of saws.

  • Jordana says:

    I just can’t get past my question of “Where did you get the saw your Dad is using?” I KNOW you don’t have a saw lying around. Did you borrow it from the Super? From Ava? How me of a question is that? Seriously though – where the heck did that saw come from???!!!

  • Mn Mama says:

    I am saying ditto to Jordana’s question… where did you get that saw? Your tree looks great. I am praying for you my friend.

  • Damselfly says:

    That’s a mighty fine-looking tree. Even if a city kid who doesn’t know how to use a hacksaw sold it to you. πŸ˜‰

    I got to see the Rockettes here in my hometown a couple years ago on my birthday. Very cool show.

  • Not to be showoffish or anything, but we paid $60 for a 12-footer this year πŸ™‚ See, the suburbs are cheaper, too!

    P.S. Fixed the link! Thanks πŸ™‚ Glad you like your gift, and I hope you need it soon πŸ™‚

  • Marinka says:

    If I were a Rockette, I would work it into every single conversation that I ever had. “Excuse me, is this seat taken? I’m a Rockette.”

    lol about the tree. I think everyone who is not me is ok handling a saw.

  • Valerie says:

    My kids decorated our tree exactly the same way — 2 or 3 ornaments per branch, all in the lower areas. And they love to rearrange them in their spare time. And they like to have the wise men from the nativity scene play football against each other.

  • deb ringold says:

    too funny…i love the picture of you watching your dad trim the bottom of the tree!! to funny. i would guess that the biggest perk to being a Rockette is that one day you get to tell your grandchildren that you were once a Rockette! Great pix to show at career day for your kids/grandkids!!!!! Telling my grandkids that I was once a legal recruiter and Dipping Diva just doesn’t have the same WOW factor.

  • deb ringold says:

    I meant to say “too funny” only once. I hate when I read my comments and I spell something wrong or I repeat myself.

  • Lanie says:

    I am not an expert on Christmas tree decorating but if I was I think Dylan and Summer did an outstanding job. I will check with my local labor & employment lawyer (aka Evan) about the 10 yr. old (and the 65 yr. old) using the saw. Great post! XOXO

  • I am so familiar with the lower right hand quadrant! $60? Doesn’t seem bad for the city – one good thing, right? And your dad’s out of his track suit – there’s another. Hope you have a good weekend.

  • Online says:

    My kids decorated our tree exactly the same way β€” 2 or 3 ornaments per branch, all in the lower areas. And they love to rearrange them in their spare time. And they like to have the wise men from the nativity scene play football against each other.

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kelcey kintner