Friday, December 11, 2009

The Real Deal

A Christmas tree is not just a decoration in our house. It is a family outing, activity, and tradition.

The first week of December, we load everyone up in the car. We drive to a Christmas tree lot that looks just right, the kind that have a light-bordered sign, a hand-warming station, and rows upon rows of trees. We try to avoid stores. Then everyone tumbles over each other out of the car and spreads out to look for the ultimate goal. The perfect tree.

This was true when I was a little girl, a teenager, then a college student home to visit. And it is still true now, with my own children.

There is usually some debate about who has found the perfect tree. But after seeing them all, everyone tends to fall in love with the same one.

The tree is then tied to the top of the car roof. Everyone piles back in, chilled, but excited. The tree is taken home to be covered with lights, popcorn garlands, baubles of all colors, and a variety of ornaments made at school. Everyone gets to put something on.

The tree fills the house with woodsy freshness, soft light, and a natural gathering place Christmas morning.

Our very real tree this year

Seeing a Christmas tree from this point of view, I'm sure it is not surprising that I am not a fan of artificial trees.

My stand point on artificial Christmas tress is well known. And it isn't just the ridiculous papery overly bright green look of the things.

It is the loss of the entire event that surrounds getting and setting up the Christmas tree each year. To have the Christmas tree lot replaced by the basement. To have the smell replaced by a cardboard box. I have resisted this every way I know how.

When Hubster mentioned a fake tree in the past, I pointed out that we lived in a two bedroom shoebox, and where was he planning on storing the thing for the 11 months of the year it wasn't being used. I've ridiculed fake trees. I've clung to my real tree snobbery.

So, I can't believe I'm going to say this.

Next year, we're going to get an artificial Christmas tree.

I've lost my "lack of storage" excuse, now that there is both a basement and a garage. And Hubster has shown me some trees that look pretty amazing for fake ones. Ones that have realistic needles and pinecones.

Ones that don't shed needles on the floor everytime Monkey throws a ball at it. Ones that already have the lights on. Ones that don't turn into a crispy brown accident waiting to happen.

I've fought and resisted for a very long time. The dark side has finally won.


  1. I have to admit that the "real tree hunt" lost it's charm for me when I was 10. I have a wonderful 7.5 foot pre-lit christmas tree that I love. And I don't have to water it (which I know I would forget to do), and I don't have to wait for Joe to have time to come tie a tree to our car (which he doesn't). For me, the flexibility of a fake is fabulous. Welcome to the dark side. :)

  2. I miss the days when my parents and brother and I would hop in the car, drive to the lot in early November, pick out a tree and tag it. Then, a few weeks later, we would go back out with an employee and watch, excited, as he chopped it down, dragged it to the parking lot and loaded it onto the car.

    I understand the practicality of switching to a fake tree, but there's nothing that can replace that kind of magic.