I was told this weekend that our Christmas tree needs to be up soon, so our newly arriving bundle of joy can come home from the hospital to a festive environment...
Like she'll notice. She won't even know she has feet for a few months much less notice something shaped like her daddy but much brighter and better smelling.
Now don't take that as Tony C being all bah humbug either. Actually, I quite love the Christmas season and everything that goes along with it. I just prefer when it's contained within the month of December...that's all.
Plus, I'm also a traditionalist when it comes to the tree. I favor a fresh-cut tree despite the hassles of trimming and the fire hazard imposed throughout the duration of its stay inside our home. Problem being... I'm a tad too Clark Griswold, and my judgment in scope of size is limited to if the tree will or will not block the view of the flat screen from my recliner.
Mrs. Tony C holds far stricter parameters, therefore, she prefers the consistency of an artificial tree. I'll bet you see where this is going.
For the past two years, the real tree/artificial tree debate has taken a Washington-like flavor and resulted in absolutely no progress on either front. Last year we used a hand-me-down, green pipe cleaners artificial tree that quite frankly saddened me to share the same room. Year before, we settled on a grab-and-go mass production tree hybrid call-it-spruce-or-call-it-fir for $39.99 from the front of a Wal-Mart tree. Ho-ho-stinkin'-ho. Instead of evergreen, we had the smell of formaldehyde flowing gently through our home. Don't bother looking for that in the holiday scented candles section...trust me.
I want tradition. I want to make memories with the whole family loading up and driving to a wooded area to find our holiday home centerpiece. The teenager can forget being cold temporarily for such a memory. The toddler can overcome her fear of all things that creep and crawl to share in the joy. Ditto to both for Mrs. Tony C...we're making lasting memories here people!
In the spirit of the season, I will offer a compromise of good tidings and peace. If I am to forgo my personal conviction of keeping it old timey...to disrespect the memories of my heritage when the family gathered to celebrate the season around a real, once living tree...to succumb to the trappings of an over-commercialized, injection-molded holiday...I will agree to a fake tree if, and only if, that tree can be the one artificial tree of nostalgia that once lite my imagination as a young boy. The futuristic pine that sparked my dreams of off-world adventures as an astronaut working for the pinnacle of space exploration agencies called NASA. The cutting edge technology that jump started the hip to be square phase of American pop culture.
My late aunt had one of these in the 70's, and she would wait until I could be there each year to assemble the tinsel wonderment. I would sit for hours and watch the aluminum foliage shift from red, to green, to blue and then yellow before starting all over again. I vividly remember the grind of the slowly spinning color wheel. The pop of static sting if you touched a branch while putting a present around the base. It was like truly living in an episode of the Jetsons.
I miss my aunt. I miss that tree from such a wonderful childhood memory too. How in the world can you possibly say no to that Mrs. Tony C?
(I fight a little dirty if you didn't notice...)