Monday, December 3, 2012

Why I would rather have a fake tree

For the first 25 years of my life I had a real Christmas tree.

My uncle owned a Christmas tree farm in Brown County, Indiana.
My family and I would load up in the station wagon on a Saturday morning, drive an hour, pick out the perfect trees {yes, there were usually two} from the lot, tie the trees to the top of the station wagon and drive home.  But only after stopping at White Castle {every time} for sliders and onion rings.

When we got home, my dad would carefully set to work sawing off the bottom of the trunk outside, before even attempting to bring in two twelve foot tall Christmas trees.


Bringing the trees into the house was a whole 'nother job!
No matter how tightly wrapped the tree was, there was usually always some ramming to get it through the front door.  Once inside, the task of getting the tree into the base took what felt like hours to a kid anxious to get started decorating with all of my favorite ornaments.

My parents usually had us kids setting up the fake kids tree that my dad had from his bachelor days. This would usually keep us busy enough for my dad to get one of the trees inside and into the stand.
 Christmas tree count: three.  One of the trees was our family tree, another was my mom's pretty tree, and the third was our kids "fake" tree.

After a snooping mishap when I was about seven, the very large tree in our front bay window {did I mention that it was twelve feet tall?} had to then be tethered to the wall in several different places to prevent an early morning crash.


Once the tree was in it's stand, then the real work would begin. 
The stringing on of the lights.

This may just be my childhood memory getting the best of me, but if the tree was twelve feet tall, it was at least eight feet wide at it's widest part.
There were boxes and boxes of lights.
My parents really liked lots of lights on the tree, so this task usually took hours.
I remember all of us kids scrambling to put on ornaments before the lights were even on the tree!
There was a whole lot of waiting.

Fast forward several years to our first and second Christmas.
We were living just off campus at Purdue and bought a tree from the forestry department for $15.  My husband and I were newly married and I don't remember us having a whole lot of decorations for the tree.  
My mom and best friend Audrey, drove up to our small apartment and we made those cinnamon roll out ornaments.  They were beautiful!

Once our second Christmas rolled around we had a newly walking toddler on our hands.
The live tree selection in the Midwest is usually slim pickings to our selection here in the Pacific Northwest.
I don't know what kind of tree we got, but it was so darn pokey and sharp, that my husband had to wear gloves just to put the lights on the tree!

Our sweet toddling boy was so enthralled by the glimmering lights on the tree that he waddled right up to it and touched it.  Only to back away screaming!  Guess that's one way to keep a toddler away from your Christmas tree, pick out one that has barbed wire needles!

Speaking of toddlers, we were usually so busy making sure those small mouths got fed, that there would inevitably be a few day stretch where the tree would go dead because we forgot to water it.  Usually that stretch happened right after we put the tree up.  Pine needles would litter the floor all around the tree and it would be a constant job just to make sure they were vacuumed up every day.  Not to mention it was probably a fire hazard!


I can't remember if it was when I was pregnant with my second child or pregnant with my third {it's all a blur!}, but I found a  nine foot tall fake pre-lit tree after Christmas on super sale for $28.  A deal I couldn't pass up!  Mike was a hard sell at first {we both grew up with real Christmas trees} but after setting up the tree the first year, he was sold!  We haven't looked back since...and yes, we still use the $28 tree.  We've even added a white tree {garage sale special for $5} in our upstairs hallway, and I set up a small $3 tree in my egg crate in my front entry.
Christmas tree count: three...just like when I was a kid.

When I was a kid, getting a real Christmas tree was a weekend long ordeal filled with waiting and anticipation.  As I got older, getting a real Christmas tree was messy and a lot of work.  

I don't miss the hunt for the perfect real Christmas tree every year. I know where it is. 
It's in my garage.  Safely stored in a large box ready to be brought out and decorated in under two hours!

Fake trees don't need to be watered, which is a good thing, because man, we were really bad at remembering that!  There are no messy needles on the floor, no marks on the door jam from shoving the tree inside, no hours wasted driving, barely anytime for set up and it takes no time at all to put the lights on.

Instant gratification.
I like that better than the fresh pine smell.

So what about you, do you love a real tree or are you sold on having a fake tree?

7 comments:

PJ @ Planned in Pencil said...

Hahahaha, Im just the oposite. We never had a real tree. The first year my husband and I were married he bought me a real tree!!! It was a disaster. Ill have to share that story tonight on my blog. I burn a candle from my cousins etsy store that smells so much like a fresh tree that I dont miss it at all!

Loui♥ said...

I prefer FAKE!
much less muss and fuss..
no bugs..
already pre-lit..
the felines could care less,,
easy to un-decorate and store..
for the real evergreens, I want them in a wreath!
Merry Christmas!
Loui♥

Carol, The Answer Is Chocolate said...

My childhood was the opposite. My parents swore they came home with the wrong kid. We had a fake tree. I hated it. I know what kid usually cares about what kind of tree they have. I vowed I would have a real tree once I was on my own and have ever since BUT, now I confess to being ready for a fake tree. And guess whose son is having NONE of that?

latenightplays said...

I grew up with the same artificial tree my entire childhood, my parents probably STILL have it. My hubby grew up with real and fake. We are a house of real. We love the experience of finding it and we keep it at 7' so not too much to do with respect to stringing lights. There are actually benefits to the environment with getting real ones and I do LOVE the smell, it reminds me of Christmas.

Cerise said...

I love our fake white tree. We got a real tree ONCE. Our cats ended up in it....and all the ornaments ended out of it. I wish I had gotten pictures of our cat decorated tree.

Erin said...

Fake! And I love it! Ha ha prelit= even better!
I'm sure one of these years we will go get a real one to "experience" it. And I'm sure I'll try hard not to curse as I'm vacuuming needles daily and tryig to remember to water it!

aprettymess said...

what a fun read! great memories! when i was a kid we only had a real tree maybe on 3 occasions (if i can even remember for sure). other than that it has always been fake trees with tree scented candles and room sprays to fulfill that need. and now i prefer to have fake trees myself. for me part of the fun is putting the tree up =)