Rosemarie and I had our annual Christmas Tree debate last week: live tree vs. artificial tree. If you landed on this space near this time last December you probably read about last year’s debate. We have it every year. By now, it’s become a Christmas tradition.
Divorce is never discussed but there is sometimes a few hours of non-talking between us as we each fume for a while and attempt to get our blood pressures back to a reasonable level. Not to worry, it doesn’t last long and we eventually wind up in a neighborhood lot selecting a live Christmas Tree. As I loaded it onto the rooftop of the car I sensed an under-breath “wait’ll next year” emanating from Rosemarie sitting in the front seat.
The decision of whether or not to stop buying a live tree and switch to an artificial tree is not an especially dynamic debate. I take the live position which is highlighted by the principle that you cannot shortchange Christmas and phony is phony and it always looks it. I also bring up other positives of having a live tree, things like the pleasant aroma in the house and not having to find some humungous space to store an artificial tree.
Rosemarie, meanwhile, argues that we are throwing money down the chimney, that an artificial tree would pay for itself in two or three years and we’d never have to buy another Christmas tree.
My arguments that artificial trees cost too much and they ALWAYS look artificial are starting to wear a little thin lately. This year many of the man-made trees were on sale BEFORE Christmas and I have to admit the technology has improved significantly. The appearance of some of the artificial trees is impressive.
There is one other item worth noting, though it doesn’t help my side of the argument much. This year there’s a shortage of live trees and the result has been higher prices. I wound up at a fancy garden place we go to at other times of the year and I have never seen–this year or any other–such a consistent inventory of really good-looking trees. Each one was in it own pan of water and was super fresh. I actually had a hard time deciding which tree I wanted–they all looked good. That’s never happened before. It was amazing….and so was the cost for the tree! It was way more than I have ever spent on a Christmas Tree. Rosemarie, thank goodness, has yet to ask me how much I paid. It’s one of those Christmas secrets I hope to keep to myself. Otherwise, next year’s debate will be especially challenging.
Our tree, once decorated, is always a mishmash of holiday memorabilia and a bunch of other stuff collected over the years. It’s a Christmas tree with too many things on it and probably the most disorganized thing in my life. But hey, it comes but once a year so my nervous system goes on holiday.
Now, in the end, you have to admit, when it comes to debating having an artificial Christmas tree vs. the real thing…a picture is worth a thousand Christmas carols.