We selected the tree. Winter air breezed through the car on the ride home; the windows were down so the tree could hang out of it. This year it only took two tries to get the alignment straight in the stand. Mr. Tree Farm dude advised we chop up aspirin and mix it in the water used for the tree. Interesting - I'd always heard sugar was the way to go?
Some sort of Christmas miracle happened and all of my strings of lights work. My tree is now happily glowing and filling my apartment with cheer and delicious scents of of pine and cider. Happy Holidays!