So, here Rosemarie and I face off, each with a full fury of steam heading down the track at top speed destine for the big collision when our cow bars meet head-on. Oh, cow bars? Those are wedge-shaped grills on the front of old steam locomotives that were used to nudge cattle off the tracks. Rosemarie, I know, would take great pleasure at nudging me off the tracks.
So what is the big controversy that has us riled up and hurling anti-ballistic missiles toward each other? It’s the Christmas tree. Yeah, can you believe that? The Christmas tree, an object of beauty and good holiday cheer has turned the object of ugly, contentious bickering. The issue: real or artificial?
While not a wild undisciplined spendthrift, I am more prone to pay full-freight as long as the product fulfills my needs. Rosemarie, on the other hand, can sometimes pinch a penny to the extent the copper will liquefy. To her, it’s a waste spending upwards of $70-$90 every year for a tree that will be used for a few weeks and then tossed like an ex-husband to the curb to await transit to the big bonfire.
This issue wasn’t always front and center. It’s arrived at that destination like several others since a thing called retirement placed a permanent choke-hold on the continuous flow of pay checks into the family treasury. Understandable. However, there are some things that just have to be maintained, a real Christmas tree is one of them.
Rosemarie throws in a new twist to her argument this year. She now claims to have turned—get this—treegan! “A tree is a living element of nature,” she says, “and I will not be party to killing one just to please the consumptive impulses of us humans.”
My argument against a fake tree has suffered a bit because of technology. Lately, some of the phony trees are looking quite realistic. You don’t have to settle for a scrawny “bottle brush” tree anymore. Today’s artificial Christmas trees offer a variety of very real appearing evergreens. Many come with the lights already attached, something I’d pay the bucks for. And speaking of bucks, fake Christmas trees are a great example of the phrase you get what you pay for. A good, really realistic tree, at least 5-6 feet tall, will cost you $300 or more.
Rosemarie figures we’d begin to profit from buying a fake tree in the fourth year. I’m not so sure we’ll still be putting a big tree up in four years. The goal of most any senior Santa, after all, is to get the entire Christmas Holiday firmly planted at one of the kids’ homes. Let them deal with the tree issue.
Meanwhile, I’m stick’n to my roots: a real Christmas tree is just…just….I can’t put a word on it. It’s just necessary. Too many things in our lives have become artificial or phonied up in some way. Then too, you really shouldn’t ignore it…that thing about God and a tree.
Our tree this year…still live and kick’n!