Friday, December 12, 2008

Just for the Smell of It

Don't call me a scrooge, but this year we have *gasp* an artificial tree! And I have never been happier about anything in my whole life! First of all, as of writing this post, it has already been up for an entire week! In the past, when we've had a "real" tree we haven't gotten it until about a week out, because I am always so disappointed at how dried out and decrepit it looks by Christmas morning. I end up being ready to toss it into the alley by late in the afternoon on Christmas day. But not this year! No siree! Our tree will look as good the week after Christmas as it does today, hokey ornaments aside.

I have never been anti-artificial tree. I just had to convince my husband that some traditions aren't worth it. I actually really love the idea of getting a live tree. I love the ritual of getting it... the crisp evening air, bundling up and piling in the car to head to the nearest tree lot, the overwhelming scent of having stepped deep into a pine forest as soon as the car doors open, the tinny sounding speakers spewing Christmas tunes to drown out the noise of the chainsaws in the background as workers ready the chosen trees to go to their prospective homes, wandering through the forested lot to find the perfect tree and staking a claim on it.

But just about as soon as that tree is tied to the top of my car to tote home is about where my love affair with the live tree tradition has always ended. Because as lovely as the whole evening has been, dealing with a live tree just becomes more of a mess than it is worth, at least for me, anyway.

So last year I happened to be out shopping a few days after Christmas and noticed the substantial clearance discounts on trees. We had just dumped our (way past ever having even closely resembled a live) tree in the alley a couple of days earlier and were still vacuuming needles and scrubbing sap off of every imaginable surface of our home. Fate then intervened in the form of perfect timing when I asked Scott if he might consider the possibility of purchasing an artificial tree for next year. He agreed that being able to get a very realistic looking "fake" tree (Why they're called "fake" I don't know... they're still Christmas trees, right?) at about a gazillion percent discount was a way better option than ever going through that mess again. Believe me, if I had waited to propose the idea of a "fake" tree at the beginning of the season this year, he would have long forgotten the horror and put his foot down.

Now, I am not a total scrooge, and as beautiful as my fake and hassle free tree is (did I mention pre-lit? It's pre-lit... no stringing lights!!!!! I just plugged the tree in. Just. Plugged. It. In.), I can understand his melancholy for the going and getting of the live tree. So next week we'll bundle up to head out to a parking lot filled with a pine forest, listen to some tinny music while wandering among the trees to inhale the Christmasyness of it all, and then collect a few discarded branches to bring home and weave a wreath out of. Just for the smell of it. Because even as happy as I am, I have to admit, I do miss the scent.

You've gotta love this tree topper. I know you can't see very well because the shot is a little blurry, but it's the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph, holding a star and reaching to place it on top of the tree.

My absolute favorite vision of Christmastime from childhood is looking at the lit up tree all squinty-eyed until I could just see a blur of tiny lights. My camera sans flash recreates it just as it looks in my memory.

My current favorite vision of Christmas time!


Tiffany said...

We went with an artificial tree this year too. Last year we went to the tree farm and cut our own, and LOVED that. But a week later the stupid thing was INFESTED with bugs and dripping sap everywhere. We ended up having to throw it out long before Christmas. (thankfully, we got our money back!!). So, no more real trees for us after that horrible experience!!!

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Blog Stalker said...

I am so with you on the whole artificial tree thing! We actually now have an pre-lit and just so love it!

Great picture!