One of my least favorite parts of Christmas, the live Christmas Tree. I love Christmas Trees, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t enjoy going out in the cold, picking out a Christmas Tree, usually in the dark. It’s all covered with snow. We drag it in the house and it’s usually several FEET too large, so we have to cut it down a little, in the middle of my entryway of course. Then we get it up. It’s a real tree, so there are no sides that are perfect. Sometimes we have taken bottom branches and drilled holes in the trunk and added to fill in. But most years I don’t want the mess, so it is what it is. Then it has to sit for several hours dripping all over the towels we lay out on the carpet, making a mess. Then there’s the needles from now until we take the tree outside. They’re not too bad until someone bumps the tree, and then it’s like a pine needle shower.
This year wasn’t so dark. We got out before it got dark, so we could really see the actual tree, and not just random shapes out in the swamp. But, as you can see, there are still towels all around the tree to soak up the dripping, melting snow. So, why do we do it? If it had been totally up to me, we would have had a fake tree years ago. But the kids love getting the real tree. When they were little, dad would cut down the tree and drag it out of the woods so that they could “help” haul it back to the truck. Now, one of the kids, usually one of the boys, cuts down the tree and drags it out onto the road where they can all grab hold and haul it back. Dad and I walk out to the spot, supervise, and walk back to the truck. It’s not too bad.
Now, having expressed my dislikes, there are a couple of things I do like about the real tree. I love the smell of pine. Not that it’s super prominent, but when you’re close you can smell it. I like the imperfectness of the real tree. Fake trees are all perfectly shaped, and really have very little character, so flat sides, or no good sides, they are still more unique than a fake one. This one is going to be weird, but I like that there’s fewer branches. They require less lights and less ornaments. I also like that the uniqueness of the tree goes well with the mostly homemade ornaments that we have collected throughout the years.
I don’t know if we will forever have a live Christmas tree, when the kids are all grown, if they don’t get one for us, we’ll probably go to a fake tree just for convenience. But, while there are still kids willing to wade through the snow in the dark and cold, I think we’ll probably have a real tree. I can handle the mess because it makes for wonderful memories. Do you have a real tree or fake tree? What do you like about yours? I would love to hear a memory from your childhood involving Christmas trees!