Celebrating the Season
Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, do you have a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?
I am wondering because for the first time in about 30 years, we will have only a fake tree. This is the result of an impromptu decision on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We saw a tree at the Sears store that is going out of business in our mall and couldn’t resist the price! I got a $300.00 tree for less than $75.00 with tax!
Since we’ve always had a real tree, this is somewhat of an experiment. I don’t know if I’ll like having only an artificial tree. I say only, because most years we’ve had a real tree on the main level of our house that we cut from a locally owned Christmas Tree Farm. An artificial tree was used the lower level, where we spend time to watch television. All of the boys handmade school ornaments got put on the artificial tree, along with fun, secular ornaments that signified trips, interests, or hobbies each of them had. It was fun to get the ornaments out each year and recall the memories.
Boys to Men
But, our “boys” are now 24, 19, and 17 years old. Trips to the tree farm over the last few years have become harder to orchestrate with jobs, school work, and extracurricular activities, not to mention that it gets dark by 4:30 p.m. at this time of year. It got to the point that to get a live tree, my husband and I would end up going during a weekday, by ourselves. It’s just not as fun as it used to be when the boys were younger.
So, having an artificial tree for its convenience has intrigued me for years. I can put it up by myself, the lights are already strung on this one in my preferred clear color, and there won’t be any mess from dropped needles! Just like any one who buys a live tree, you know that despite watering regularly, there will be some needle drop. And, some years (only a time or two, many moons ago) we got a tree that dropped most of its needles upon set up in our livingroom. I believe that only happened when the boys were very young and we purchased a pre-cut, live tree off a lot in the parking area of a local hardware store. That experience put an end to purchasing the Blue Spruce and pre-cut trees.
In general, I preferred cutting a fir-tree, either Fraser or Douglas Fir, for their long-lasting, short needles. Fragrance varied from year to year, but was always enjoyed when the tree gave off its musty evergreen scent, reminding us of its gift from nature.
This year, I know that there will not be a wonderful scent emanating from our tree. But, I’ll work to replace it with candles and the artificial tree scents you can place within the tree to make one believe it is real. I also know there will not be any needle drop mess to vacuum up or find tucked away near a baseboard come spring. I am looking forward to setting up the tree at my convenience, because it has become that anyway. Gone are the days that the boys enjoy helping to decorate or are even home long enough to do so.
Despite all of the advantages, I am not sure I’ll like just having an artificial tree. But, as my husband told me, I can try it for two years and if I decide I don’t care of it, we can return to getting a live tree. Then, we can donate this tree and still not be out any money because we would have spent $35.00 – 40.00 dollars on a cut live tree each year, anyway. I think that’s a good way to look at it.
I honestly do not feel one type of tree is better than another, and I also understand that some families have a rich tradition of tree cutting and decorating that dictates what they do and when they do it. However, I do think each family needs to choose what type of tree is right for them and go with it. For us, it is a time of change. Why not change the type of tree we have at Christmas too? After all, when we are all gathered around it together, it’s not the tree that we enjoy the most.