Wow! What a sight that must be.
I agree with you on gradually doing things. I know for our five children it worked to go out and get the tree from a tree farm on a weekend. We stuck it in a bucket of water in our carport and put it up the next weekend with the outside lights on the front of our house.
We put the lights on the tree and only lit them to test them, then turned off the lights and didn’t turn them on until Christmas eve. Then the tree stayed illumined through the Epiphany.
Back in Oklahoma, we used to go to the tree farm the weekend after Thanksgiving, pick out a tree, and pay for it. Then the weekend before Christmas, we’d go back and cut it and bring it home, so we’d have a fresh tree for the Christmas season.
Last year we decided not to have a tree, because of the kids and the pets. That worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year. Bill can put up lights outside!