O’ Christmas Tree, Are You Real?

charlie brown christmas treeChristmas 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”.   IMG_7967That 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.IMG_7960

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.

IMG_7962Christmas 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.  IMG_7965Our 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?


About Tracy Solheim

Best-selling author of the Out of Bounds series--sexy, contemporary sports romance novels. See what she's up to at www.tracysolheim.com.

Posted on December 14, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Oh,Christmas Tree … Oh, Christmas Tree … how lovely are your branches !! Yes, Tracy … some of us more traditional elfs … or as I call myself … the Christmas chestnut … have hung on to the last branch of sap filled pine only to discover those nifty color-coded steel hooks. To have no outing, no mishaps, no sawing off the top to fit the ceiling. What a tragedy. Another box to store, instead of another dried up hulk to haul out to the trash. Life just isn’t fair. Then again, you can rationalize you are saving one poor forrest growth from destruction (who cares about Christmas tree farms anyway).

    Hope you and yours have a sneeze-free Merry Christmas 🙂

  2. Florence, you hit the nail on the head with another box to store!! We haven’t even tackled that problem yet. 🙂 And, after all my efforts, my husband is still coughing! It might be due to the two sprigs of pine I have on the mantel. I just couldn’t go cold turkey after all. Merry Christmas!

  3. We went artificial several years ago when we began traveling over the kids’ lengthy break and I worried about the fire hazard. Did I really want to pay a neighbor to feed the dogs and the tree? I do miss the adventure, but the peace of mind I get from knowing it won’t burst into flames is a big plus.

    My mom went back to real this year and she’s loving it. Maybe this is just a season that will pass, but the convenience is huge!

  4. We go “real” here in our house and yet both my son and I have had the scratchy throat and dripping noses ever since said tree entered our family room – where I spend my entire day! I do love the scent of the live tree but I’d change to an artificial tree in a heartbeat if it was making my family miserable. Happy Holidays!

  5. In my adult life I’ve had nothing but artificial, which has been fine with me. Growing up we had real, and I do miss parts of it. But the good news about traditions is… there are always new ones waiting to be discovered!

    • My kids are practically adults now, so it seems the traditions are readjusting from year to year. Christmas makes me nostalgic for their younger days, but the holidays seem more relaxed as the kids grow up. A nice compromise, for sure! 🙂

  6. Wow, I didn’t know people were allergic to the scent of real pine. We’ve had artificial trees for years and like you, decorate them with an assortment of ornaments our children make. And it’s always gorgeous. Heck, Tracy, even Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, once decorated, was something to behold. 🙂

  7. Definitely real. I relish the fresh pine scent of a real tree and stop for a deep inhalation as I pass by. It reminds me this time is fleeting. It reminds me to pause and enjoy.

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