Tuesday, January 20, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Real Christmas trees offer so much more than artificial trees.

Real Christmas trees come with an aroma that sets the mood for the holiday season. Artificial trees smell like packing tape.

A real Christmas tree comes with the experience of picking one out. Choosing a fake plastic tree off the shelf on aisle five next to the end cap of fake tan spray is no experience at all.

Yes, there’s great joy in picking a real tree from a lot, roaming through the lines of firs and pines, sipping a warm cup of complimentary apple cider or cocoa on a cool winter night. Some lots even have Christmas carolers, Santa Claus and Santa’s reindeer to brighten your holiday spirit. Finding an artificial tree is like going grocery shopping.

Real adventure awaits those who travel out to majestic forests in search of the perfect tree to cut down the way our forefathers might’ve done. It’s like peace on Earth out there. With fake trees, the only peace you’ll get is the piece you need for your tree that’s on back order, to arrive at the store in five to 10 working days.

A real tree is a one-of-a-kind. You can get a tall, thin, flocked tree one year, and a short, fat, non-flocked tree the next year. Once you purchase a fake tree, whether it’s the “M10” model or “T27” model (the equivalents to 300 million other trees just like them all across the country), you’re stuck with it for years to come.

But let’s get down to some basic facts.

A real Christmas tree can be discarded when the holiday season is over. You don’t have to store it in your garage, taking up precious room that could otherwise be used to house a pool table.

A real Christmas tree is a living thing. You wouldn’t walk a fake dog around the block, would you?

A real Christmas tree is authentic. A fake tree is like a fake parachute. Can you really trust it?

Finally, I promise that no real Christmas tree will ever come with instructions, with an aluminum tree trunk and plastic branches that have labels, “A” goes to “A,” and “B” goes to “B.”

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine said he bought an artificial Christmas tree to save on future expenses. His tree is the perfect shape and size, he said, it makes no mess, it has no sap that would otherwise get stuck on his hands and on everything he touches afterward, it doesn’t cause blisters, it doesn’t need water, it doesn’t need to be cut into pieces so tree recyclers can haul it away after the holidays, it keeps artificial tree makers employed (more jobs), it doesn’t cause anyone’s allergies to flare up, it folds up into a small box for easy storing, it saves the hassle (what some people call adventure) in hunting down a tree year after year . . . And who cares if it’s not a living thing? It’s not supposed to be walked around the block or used as a parachute.

I bought a fake tree yesterday.

-December 2008

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