Looking for the perfect Christmas tree can be a long and arduous journey. And it can be costly. As the couple in Medford, Oregon learned when they purchased a permit to chop down their own tree in the State Forest. They drove off with dreams of silver needled birch in their heads, and promptly got stuck in the snow far from civilization or a hot cocoa bar. Two days later, and still without a tree, they managed to get their vehicle out and found their way down the mountain, realizing they had actually strayed into California. Can you imagine how costly it would have been if they’d managed to illegally chop down a tree from the state that harbors the most “save the earth” nutballs in the world? With the state police, forest rangers, and helicopters searching for them, I’m sure Medford’s Boy Scout tree lot is looking mighty good right about now.
Of course if you’re cheap like me, you just grab the first tree on the lot that doesn’t cost more than the presents you plan to place under it. That usually means my tree was cut down sometime back in May and will shed every needle within a week of being set up in our home.
Our current tree would make for fierce competition in a Charlie Brown contest. I feel very protective of my tree, seeing that it’s on its last legs—or last needles, as it were. We did what we could with it, added lights, bulbs, tinsel, and water, but the needles keep falling as Christmas carols play softly in the background, and I wonder if it will make it till Christmas.
Artificial trees are certainly more perfect in symmetry. They make decorating a cinch, especially those with lights already in place. But where is the smell of pine, the slop of water on your carpet, the brittle needle jammed into your foot as you daringly walk by wearing only socks? The senses are just not alive with an artificial tree. It’s a poor imitation of nature. A little nature in your house always makes you more grateful for civilization: scented candles, Swiffer mops, and hard-soled shoes.