Real or fake trees? Both are acceptable if you ask me. Who the hell is anyone to tell someone else what kind of tree to erect, or for that matter, how to celebrate Christmas? I grew up remembering real trees as the norm. When we moved from California to Japan, we maintained the real tree tradition. Coming back stateside, I remember seeing my very first artificial Christmas tree. It was my Grandma’s tree and I could tell it was fake because it was silver, had no lights, and only blue ornaments. It was also highlighted in the changing colors of a rotating wheel as it sat in the front room window. Blue. Yellow. Red. Green.
Nowadays, there are some great artificial trees that actually look like real trees. They already have the lights installed and take only a minute to set up. The only thing missing is the pine-needle smell, and you can get that in a can now too. The older you get, the better you will come to like these products. Besides, the tree doesn’t define Christmas as much as it represents Christmas. I have had very big trees and very small, ridiculously scrawny trees, and it was the same one. I had just bought a brand-new Makita Saws-All and was dying to use it. It sat in my tool shed unknowing of the mayhem that lay ahead. First, I tried to fit the enormous green tree under the ceiling in every possible way before considering firing up my power saw. Of course, Karen started a steady stream of ridicule, warnings, and threats as I proceeded to start the “little nip and tuck” I promised I would perform. I snipped just a little on the top, but that left an open spot on the other side, and so on, and so on, and Karen is still yelling at me, the tree keeps getting smaller and smaller, my den is filling up with tree branches, pine needles everywhere, Karen still yelling at me. Finally, I was done and we needed a little tray or stand of some kind to set the scrawny little remains of the tree that took me and three friends 45 minutes to get into the house in the first place. That was for Christmas 1990 and KAREN IS STILL YELLING AT ME!
Every year for Christmas my wife and I have spoiled each other for as long as I can remember. It’s just the two of us, but when people come by during the holidays, they invariably ask how big the family is because of the mountain of presents under and around the tree. Our dogs have twice as many presents as we give each other, so… Whether it is real or not, gather around the tree this year and remember how blessed we are to be able to commemorate another Christmas. Stay well.