I love vintage items and I love Christmas.
So when Rob discovered this cast-iron Christmas tree stand on a bottom shelf behind some other items in one of our favorite antique shops, I was tickled. We bought it, of course. It says "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" around its base.
The consequence of this, of course, that this year, we bought our first live Christmas tree. It's my first as an adult.
We chose a live tree from the C-U Optimists , and put it up with relative ease. I think it's because the stand is so sturdy, but it also helps to have a super-patient spouse. I always remember my parents swearing during this step of the process. (Edit: My mom maintains that she wasn't the one swearing.)
While I'm still struggling to remember to water the darn thing, it really is a beautiful addition to our Christmas decorations. (Rob suggested we water it with sugar-water. Co-worker Christine Des Garennes suggested that Christmas trees like acidity. The result: I've been feeding it a lemonade-like concoction. It's now the most demanding of any of our pets.)
The smell makes it worth the maintenance, though. And with a variety of colored glass ornaments and vintage-style lights, I think it looks like the tree pictured on my mother-in-law's Christmas dishes, Nikko Christmastime. 
Bonus: I was a little worried about how our former street dog  would react to having a living bush in our living room. He's been great - hasn't shown any interest in it at all.
The cat is another story. She thinks we put it up just for her. She turns into jungle cat every time she sneaks behind it. I'm just waiting for her to climb it. We'll see how sturdy the stand is, then.