Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas brings out a little something in all of us...

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 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 disrespect the memories of my heritage when the family gathered to celebrate the season around a real, once living 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.

This tree...

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...)


David said...

My now 20-year-old was sick for her first 5 Christmases. Hmmm - allergic to the real thing!

If it's artificial, I am all for chrome!

The truth is that we get so busy; we missed the tree one year. And the 7-year-old has been the Cake - err... Decorating Boss.

I am not good at taking instructions from a little one.

I am hoping that our yearly tradition of going to the Old Sturbridge Village will hold some future generational interest.

Linda said...

Oh how I miss this tree from my childhood. I LOVED this tree! I keep telling Keith my family was cooler than his because of it. If my mom hadn't thrown it away, I would still be using it today. If I could only find one.....

BeckeyZ said...

Yeah...I would love a real tree too, but I prefer being able to breath during the holidays. The ONE year my family had a real tree, I spent it sneezing, wheezing and with my eyes generally swollen shut. That was a horrible Christmas.

We now have an artificial one with little pine looks real, just need to get the pine air freshener to get the smell thing going.

Be nice to Mrs. Tony C...the hormones don't stop going crazy till several months after the baby comes.


Tracy said...

I'm with you on enjoying live trees. We did use an artificial tree that was given to me for several yrs when I was a single mom. I wonder what it is that WalMart does to their trees; we also bought one last year and noticed that lack of that longed for ever green aroma.