It’s a banner day in this suburban household. We set up the Christmas tree, finally. Jack has now agreed to give up his attachment to all things Halloween and has excitedly embraced the season of holly and evergreen.
Okay, not so much evergreen as an imitation of evergreen. Yes, that’s right. We’re the faux-Christmas tree type people. Every year, in lieu of cutting down our tree Jer heads out to the garage as I yell after him, “Make sure and pick out a good one! Big and full, okay?”
And he yells back as he climbs the attic ladder, “You got it! I’ll get the best one I can find!”
He then proceeds to dust off the tree storage jacket and hoists it down the ladder escaping certain death each and every time. We all stand in the living room ready to attack the individual branches, twisting and turning until we produce the best replicate for a real tree we can manage. We plug it in (pre-lit, thank you very much) and stand back to survey the gorgeousness of the Christmas faux-tree.
I haven’t always been a proponent for the fake tree. I grew up the daughter of a logger in a family where the mere thought of plastic branches would have sent shivers down our spines. Every December we would trek out into the great wilderness, most likely to a section of land spotted out well before the snow fell. My dad would cut down our tree with a reverance that only someone with a bonafide respect for the forest could muster. The ol’ family truckster would cart our tree home to be set up in its rightful place in the living room. Mom would flock that tree just to the point of being unrecognizable and on our eclectic array of decorations would go.
I carried on this tradition until about 3 years ago (all except for the flocking because, well,it’s justnot my bag. baby…and I’m pretty sure I can attribute most of my breathing issues and my brother’s general pissy nature to the chemicals in that stuff). Jer and I, along with family and friendswould hike up into the forest scoping out the best looking trees we couldfind. I would bitch at Jer because I was tired of hiking in the cold and was fairly sure I was beginning to lose toes to frostbite,Jer(in an effort to perpetuate all the love)would purposely suggest a tree that was utterly ridiculous, I would tell him he had no taste in trees, he would tell me he had no taste in women (I’m certain he only said this because I was 50 feet below him and he knewitwouldtake an act of God to get me to climb up thesnow-banked hill) and we would finally settle on a tree that neitherof us was all that happy with. The women-folk would then listen to Christmas music and drink hot chocolate bya firewhile the men figured out ways to tie down 10 and 12 foot trees onto the top of our rigs, with someone inevitably forgetting their straps. Ah, those were the days. Such a heartwarming tradition!
And then it happened. I was shopping after Christmas at Michael’s craft store when I saw it. A beautiful pre-lit Christmas tree. On sale. 75% off. Did I mention it was pre-lit? Did I mention that we likened putting Christmas lights on our tree to having our fingernails pulled out…one by one…while listening to Bob Dylan’s rendition of Little Drummer Boy? That putting lights on our Christmas tree brought out several kinds of “ugly” and I’m pretty sure revealed an alter personality in Jer that only presents itself during the holidays? Did I mention that it was 75% off? They were practically giving it away! It was like a sign from God that he didn’t want Jer and I to risk our wedded bliss by wrangling live trees anymore.
I snatched that discount tree up so fast I’m pretty sure the store personnel thought I was going to make a run for it. I wanted to get that tree up and paid for before I changed my mind. I knew that purchasing it would seal the deal…we would convert.
And we did. And I can say that neither one of ushas regretted the change one bit. Ah, sure, there’s certain things about a live tree we miss. We miss the fresh balsam smell and nostalgic feeling of a fir tree. We pretty much don’t miss the dried needles falling off at the mere whisper of a sneeze, the fear of spontaneous combustion with each passing day and the inevitable clogging of the vacuum cleaner.
Faux-tree or real, the symbol remains the same ~ the evergreen symbolizing hope for mankind and faith in our eternal lives.’Tis the season for love, peace and goodwill toward men. ‘Tis the season for comfort and joy. Ah, I love Christmas.
Now, one last thing to pull everything together ~ fresh balsam Glade plug-in, right next to the tree. Hmmm….it’s good.
I’m in your camp yet again – the simplicity of a fake tree has some great advantages. Actually, we haven’t even put up our tree for the last couple of years because we’ve been driving to my husband’s parent’s home (13-hr drive!!!) for christmas. She has enough holiday decorations for several households! It’s all very lovely. I wish I had that knack. Seems like when I sit things out…it looks like stuff. Other people’s stuff looks so charming. Thanks for your post – you keep me laughing. A great way to start off my week!
Oh, I so feel the same way about the stuff! I don’t have that knack for holiday decorating, for sure! It always ends up looking like I put out some snowmen and santas and threw in some holly for good measure. Just a bunch of stuff. Of course the 3 year old doesn’t help much…I usually end up with every decoration I own sitting in one place…like the toilet seat lid. Ugh.
And thank you for the compliments!! =)
I love, love, love the fake tree. My Christmas tradition involves waiting in the next room listening to my dad curse under his breath while he put the tree together. Then we would all run in and decorate. To solve the cursing problem, last year we bought one that we just unfold. It cost a pretty penny and was worth every cent. 🙂
I just light a tree scented Yankee candle and voila – Christmas.
You know…I’m slowly leaning toward the “love, love, love” attitude, too. Definitely has saved us some heartache over the last couple of years. I’m even thinking of trading up for a better model, soon. Get the mac-daddy of faux trees. =)
Oh and fake trees mean you don’t have to kill or dispose of live ones! It’s kinder! Better for the environment! See how altruistic you are?
People have always said that about me.. =)
I don’t know I just can’t do it. I tell myself every so often that it sure would be nice not to have to hear Jody say ” Just pick one already” after of course doing the loop around every tree in the lot. But I always go back for the real one. This year we will go to a U-Cut and I can’t wait! I’m sure Jody can! Merry Christmas! P.S. Did you get Jack a nutcracker yet? Love, Val
I still have love for the live trees, but I will say that the fake one is sooooo easy!!!
And, yes, I got Jack a nutcracker that he sleeps with every night. The boy is addicted! And he still brings up the fact that, “Val has nutcrackers!” =)
Love it! We like to fake it around here too. But not for lack of overachievement. I’m allergic to the darn things.
And you know how I oh-so-love to overachieve. 😉
Oh, I can imagine that you manage to “charm up” the heck out of a fake tree! =)
I have been faking it for years.(snort) I would rather use a prelit fake then: stand around in the cold chopping down a tree, carrying the tree, having the tree catch fire and burn down my house and then take that tree and dump it on the curb. Seems a waste of a beautiful tree. Yours looks very nice.
See? Even more sound reasons to go the fake route. =)
I love my fake tree. Especially since the cats haven’t destroyed it yet! My BF is allergic to a lot of plants, including pine and their relatives, so fake is the best option if we want her to come over.
You know, they are making those fake trees more and more realistic looking! Pretty sure the cats smell the plastic and thing…”Eh…not worth it.” =)
Love it! Now if everyone would quit cutting down the trees!
One of these days I’m going to trade in this 10 yr old 4 ft fake for a 6ft pre-lit! I hate stringing lights!!
Oh, man! Yes, you do need to trade up! Those pre-lit trees are worth their weight in gold…especially with gold worth so much right now! Actually, I kind of wish I did have a tree of gold. I’d…sorry, I get easily distracted sometimes. =)
We always had a fake tree, growing up. In fact, I have the tree that my parents first bought in their marriage! That thing has been beat to hell and back, and still looks decent. LOL
My dad and step-mother argued one year about the tree, ’cause my step-brother really wanted a real tree. The parental units caved in and bought one. That was the year we found out I was allergic to them. Oh, and so was my dad!! Guess who hasn’t had a real tree since. 😀
We haven’t had room to put up a tree in 5 years. Even our new place is too small for one, if we wanted to put one up.
You know, I’ve been hearing that a lot. That people are allergic to them! It never dawned on me that there might be a medical reason to switch over to fake…I just got all lazy and that was reason enough for me! Maybe you could pick up a little Charlie Brown tabletop tree to have in the corner? I remember living in an apartment one year and a tiny little shrub is all we could afford. We decorated the heck out of that thing with a $3 string of lights and hair accessories. =)