For every year I can remember as a child, we always went out Christmas tree shopping for a real tree. We would spend hours walking around one of the little tents that had been set up in a parking lot of some random shopping center. My brother and I would spend the whole time running between trees while my mom tried her best to keep up with us and my dad would actually do the tree shopping. Honestly, I have no idea what the criteria is for picking out a tree (probably going to have to research that if I ever want to make a good choice!)
No matter what tree we would point out there was always something wrong with it. Though now that I think about it, I am pretty sure we always picked the tallest (though they all look huge when you’re four, five, six etc.) Both my parents always had to remind us that not only did the tree have to fit on the car but it had to fit in the house. The smell of pine, running over the fallen needles, dodging branches, playing with sap, and trying not to knock stuff over was just a part of every December. As soon as my dad would find the perfect tree, he would call us over and we would all agree and off it went to the house.
To me you just can’t beat a real Christmas tree; I understand that artificial trees definitely have some great benefits, but the authenticity with a real tree will always remind me of my childhood with my parents; which is super important to me now that they have both passed. Nothing beats the smell of that tree as it fills the house for the whole month.
Watching my dad put up the stand and helping him add water to it before pulling out the same tree skirt we used every year, then decorating with lights, ornaments, and icicles. Nothing beats the fun of fighting with tangled lights, finding the packages with ornaments, and hearing the yearly lecture on the right way to put on tinsel.
And each year you get to go through the process all over again. The tree is always different, whether it is shorter, taller, greener, or fuller; there was just always something to look forward to. I know some people with artificial trees keep the lights and tinsel on even when the tree is packed away so that when it comes out next year most the work is already done. This might work great for some but was simply wasn’t an option in our household.
Which type of tree do you prefer?