Daily Archives: December 14, 2012
Christmas is about traditions. I love everything about the holidays: The music, the lights, the food, the decorations, the trees. Except this year, the whole tree thing has been a little ruined for me. And, no, I’m not talking about someone in the White House deeming it more politically correct to call the trees “Holiday Trees” and not “Christmas Trees”. That would be a political rant and this is not the place for that. No, I’m talking about the paradigm shift regarding the Christmas tree in the Solheim house. You see, for the first time in 21 years, we’ve gone…artificial.
It pains me to even type it.
This was not a decision made lightly, but more for the welfare of the two men in our house who seem to be unable to tolerate even the faintest scent of pine. Really, the sneezing and the coughing the Diva and I must endure became so annoying last year that we insisted on a fake tree this Christmas. Well, one of us did. The other thought, since her brother would only be home for three days, he could just stay in his room.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this tree is very pretty. Aside from the fact it smells like plastic. Yankee Candle to the rescue. It’s nine feet tall and when it’s lit with the 900 clear lights, it looks like the real thing from the street. And, our fake Balsam tree was really easy to assemble, light, and decorate. No sap to peel off the hands or scrapes to bandage from the sharp needles. Best of all, you can bend the branch to prevent the heavy ornaments from slipping off and shattering on the hard wood floor. All pluses during this harried season.
But, there’s something besides the smell that’s missing: The experience of bundling up kids and the dog to go out in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Some years, the task was easy. Others, our task took us to more than one tree farm before eventually stopping at the garden center on the way home and getting a tree from the lot. But each trip added to the special memory of that particular Christmas. So what if the puppy threw up the car and we had to ride two hours home enduring the stench. Or, if shrink-wrapped inside our tree was a uninvited holiday guest with whiskers and beady eyes. Those were part of the good times that make up the memories of Christmas past.
Christmas present is filled with busy kids—I mentioned number one is working right up until December 23—and an ailing dog who likely couldn’t get in the truck to make the trek to a tree farm. So it’s on to new traditions. Our treasure trove of ornaments—some hand-made in Sunday school or preschool, many acquired during our travels—look just fine on our new, fake tree. And I think Santa must have been feeling a little sorry for me because I’ve even found a few needles scattered here and there.
Of course, those could be from that devious little Elf on the Shelf…
How about you? Is your Christmas tree real or artificial?