Posted: 28 December 2008 in observations, propaganda

Several years ago, I bought a fake tree.  Heresy.  I come from a real tree sort of a family.  My memories are packed with chilly trips to tree lots and the scent of Douglas Firs.  My mother looked for compact branches that would settle nicely while my father looked for a good trunk that looked like it had another month or so in it.  As for us, we looked for height.  Six feet or taller.  Better if we had to trim the trunk than to have a too short tree.  The trees we brought home were always beautiful, though some years we endured dry branch tips or moldy trunks.  At the end of the holiday, it was out the door and to the dump.

It’s why I bought a fake tree, actually.  I didn’t want to be part of the cycle of waste – grow a tree, chop it down, leave it on the curb – all for a week or two of piney scent and decor.  It would be great if that were my sole, noble reason, but also, I was lazy, poor and owned a tiny car.  I assumed the fake tree would pay for itself in several years and that I could learn to cope with the lack of scent memories.  To its credit, the tree doesn’t look shabby.  The branches are lush and I don’t have to battle strings of lights every year.  Most importantly, the tree is big.  Huge.

It’s also plastic.  Which means THIS isn’t going to happen.  I’ve always assumed that if the house catches fire while I’m out I’ll have plenty of time to get back, save the dog and put out the flames.  Um.  Not so much.  The last thing I’m going to do is bring timber into the house and string hot lights on it.  I can’t remember to put water in the coffee maker, let alone in a tree basin.  So I’ll continue putting tree farmers out of business and wait for someone to post a video of a plastic tree bursting into flames.  Hello Festivus Bush.

  1. Meagan says:

    I made my parents stop getting a real tree when I was ten, because that’s when we learned in school that the tree was supposed to represent everlasting life. It seemed unfair to me to kill something to symbolize life. I miss the traditions that surround a beautiful real tree, but I feel better about not having one.

  2. Digger says:

    We didn’t have a real tree this year…I always had a fake one as a kid (we were fairly poor) and always a real one as an adult. I particularly liked that when I lived at the beach, the trees were used after Christmas to help keep down dune erosion rather than sent to a landfill. We were at the beach again this year, but the place we rented was too small for a tree any bigger than the two-foot tall one we found at Walgreens.

    I missed having a real tree and the pine-scented candle wasn’t sufficient. But fires scare me. And since we will probably go back overseas in a few years, we are thinking of hitting an after-Christmas sale to pick up a really nice fake tree. And maybe some more pine-scented candles.

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