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Fake Plastic Tree

November 29, 2010

We got an artificial Christmas tree this year.  Normally, I’d say I am adamantly against this act.  Everything I love most about Christmas trees seems to come from their being fresh and (at least until very recently) living.  The searching of Christmas tree lots or farms in the cold air with a steaming cup of mulled cider. The trekking home with said cutting stuffed precariously into our car, filling our back seat equally with the delicious scent and discarded needles.  The stringing of lights in a dark room with Christmas cookies and carols playing softly (pre-lit? no way, the lights are half the fun!)

But above all else, there is one attribute of a fresh tree that will always make it a holiday must for me.  The aroma, that heavenly Christmassy scent that fills the house and reminds you each time you open the door that this time is a special time.  That for a few precious weeks, it’s ok to sing Christmas Carols and it’s considered altruistic (nay, required!) to shop incessantly and the cookies! oh, the cookies.

Yes. I’m a huge advocate for the fresh Christmas tree.  But this year, what with going out of town and all, we just couldn’t justify having a real tree sitting in our living room, drying out and posing a fire hazard whilst we freeze our fannies off in the Great White North.  So.  Rather than sit the season out undecorated and all bah humbug, I decided to purchase a fake tree.  *siiigh*  But if I was going to go fake, I decided, I’d go real real fake.  I got a $20 “Canadian Fir” at Target.  It. Looks.  Like crap.  It smells like plastic and god-knows-what-else.  But I know that in a normal, stay-at-home year, I will NOT be tempted to just throw up the fake and call it Christmas.

But. There are certainly some good things to be said about faking it.  For one, you don’t have to freeze your tush off searching for the perfect tree and gasping in shock at how much it costs for a decent looking dead tree to put in your house for three weeks before ditching at the local chipper.  Seriously, have you SEEEN the prices lately?  Then cramming the thing into the car while it’s shedding needles like a mofo – some of whom will likely remain where they are until next Christmas.  Once you get the thing home, you’re stuck futzing around with the stand that, invariably, is either too large, too small or broken.  When you’ve finally got the thing to stand properly, you have to water it ever day (with aspirin if you don’t have cats).  And then the vacuuming. Omigod the VACUUMING!  Who needs it!?!

Actually, I don’t mean to sound all scrooge-ish about our fake tree.  It’s funny because my intention was exactly the opposite.  I wanted to make sure we didn’t skip the decorations all together for the sake of a real tree.   And it does have its perks.  This year we got to decorate immediately after Thanksgiving, something I never do because a real tree would dry out before Christmas.  So we get to enjoy the festive house for a little bit longer.  And maybe, if I manage to get it together one of these weekends, I’ll pick up some cuttings from the local Christmas tree lot and make some garland to supplement that wonderful pine scent.  And maybe cover some of the off-gassing?

But i’m certainly not a convert.

Oh and also? there are no ornaments on the bottom 2 feet of the thing.  But that has nothing to do with its composition and everything to do with the toddler in the house.

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