Family meeting

For many years, I have turned up my nose at the debate so many people have this time of year about real christmas trees versus artificial. We have used a small blue spruce in a pot, which we bring inside a few days before the holiday, and then taken back out again. I rolled my eyes at people with tree carcasses in their living rooms, or tree mannequins. I even wrote about having a live tree in my very first blog post.
It turns out, that separately, we have all been thinking about changing our tree situation. The Boy mentioned the other day that his grandma had teased that our tree looked like the tree from the Charlie Brown special. He felt sad. I felt defensive. She’s right, of course. It does.

This drought has made it hard to make sure this little guy got enough water.

This drought has made it hard to make sure this little guy got enough water.

I found myself rubbernecking the tree lots on the highway, and sniffing at the trees outside the grocery as I ran in to get milk, and as I was putting out our Christmas village, I looked at the box of all the cool ornaments we have collected over the years, but that we don’t have space for on our tiny Charlie Brown tree.

DH mentioned today that he missed the pine smell.
Kate has been lobbying for a big tree for a while- since before Halloween….
So today, we had a family meeting, and discussed pros and cons of live tree versus artificial versus dead tree.
Kate said she would feel guilty about having a tree murdered for her,The Boy just wanted something big and from what I understand, real versus artificial kind of balance out over the years. The carbon footprint of an artificial is huge- made of plastic, shipped from China, but it “amortizes” for a long time.

And, confession, some of the choice boils down to convenience- no stepping on pine needles, no crawling under the tree with a watering can.

We are crazy frugal here, and the tree we get will last us a long time. The interwebs tell me that the expected life of an artificial tree is 6 years- if we are buying a new one in 2018, then I will admit that we made a mistake. My prediction is, though, that we will keep this thing for-freakin’-ever.
DH went on the mission, and chose a 6 foot pre-lit tree.When it first came out of the box, I was nonplussed. It was all mashed together, unfluffy. I had a sad.

Then Kate and DH worked on spreading out the branches and making it lovely.

What is your choice? Fake, dead, live, stained glass? I’m interested in the thoughts behind your choices.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Candace
    Dec 09, 2012 @ 22:13:36

    I’m a traditionalist myself. I have a fresh cut tree, but my little house can only handle a 4 footer on a table in the front window. I would have liked to see your new one in the blog


  2. Gordon's Gardens
    Dec 09, 2012 @ 23:24:07

    We’ve had plastic trees since I was in elementary school, so I became used to the idea that plastic was just fine and dandy. But every time I go by the fresh-cut trees I become enamored with the smell. The past few years I just settled and got a live wreath to bring some of that smell indoors. Part of my living is made by planting and caring for trees. I work so hard to make sure they’re happy and healthy that the idea of cutting one down to look pretty in my house for a few weeks a year sounds really wasteful. I love your idea of bringing the pine tree indoors for Christmas and then putting it out again for the rest of the year. If you had to replace your living tree every six years – and by that I mean go plant it because it’s too big to drag in the house and get a new sapling – then that’s great!

    Thanks for the inspiration. I think I’ll have to go pick up a tree in a pot today!


  3. Felecia
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 06:06:59

    I have had a fake since living in California…I had real trees my first couple of years there, but it was so hot and I get the tree up so early that they were just a fire hazard by the time Christmas arrived. To be brutally honest my “carbon footprint” in tree selection isn’t even a factor. Its all straight economics. Our first fake was a second hand…somebody had it for 6 or 7 years and they were downsizing to a small place. So, we got it and had it for about 6 years more. The second one was new and we had it for 6 years. The move across the country was not good for it…it got damaged by the movers (which I’m still trying to figure out!) but we soldiered on with it until this year. This year, i selected a 7.5 foot white light pre-lit that was on sale for 50% off and of high enough quality that we should have it for 10 years at least. I don’t plan on moving in that time either, so it shouldn’t suffer any mover related incidents.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: