A break from tradition: The benefits of an artificial Christmas tree

Growing up we always had a real Christmas tree. Some years it was small, sparse and Charlie Brown-ish. Other years it stood tall and full, reaching toward the vaulted pine ceiling inside my childhood home. One year my parents brought home a “tumbleweed” tree they had bid on at a holiday charity fundraiser. Basically, it was a huge tumbleweed spray-painted white and decorated with silver balls and red bows. My sister and I hated it, but at least it was real, if a weed.

Fast forward a decade to university. I remember the first year I returned from school for Christmas to discover my parents had sold out: they’d bought an artificial tree. “You don’t have to water it,” my dad said. “It’s so easy to assemble,” my mom added. “But it’s fake,” I replied, aghast. What would they spring on me next? An inflatable lawn Santa?

They say you grow up to become your parents. If that’s the case, I have arrived; only, my sell-out date proved a good 15 years before my parents’. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but we are now the proud owners of a Holiday Home Pre-Lit Wentworth Fir Tree. Proud because we actually assembled it properly, first try. Embarrassed because it’s an artificial Christmas tree (and we have little kids, so it feels double bad, like conning them that the bearded man at the mall is really Santa). 

Our fake Christmas tree came in a box with four sections, lettered A, B, C and D. Even our six-year-old figured out which part went where.

Assemble as easy as A, B, C, D.
Hubby quickly assembled it:

As easy as fitting Legos together!

Then we pulled out the branches all around to make it look more real and less fake. Avery, who had wondered aloud why we were getting an artificial tree, was coming around. “I like our fake tree Mommy. Do you like it?” Hmmm. Bennett was less sure of the imposter. “I scared of tree, Mommy.” I get that, son.
Time to decorate. Avery hurried to add the beautiful, if slightly maimed, unicorn ornament. I worried she might end up with blisters or boils on her hands because to “shape” and decorate the tree the instructions read, “We suggest unplugging the tree and wearing protective gloves.”  

Mythical beast meets fake tree.

I was a skeptic this morning but have quickly warmed to the benefits of the fake tree. Low maintenance! No pine needles on the floor! The only drawback is our house doesn’t have that fragrant, fresh-from-the-woods smell. Also, the fact we have a faux Christmas tree makes me feel like a Baby Boomer. But honestly, can you tell this beauty isn’t real?

Is this one real or fake?

Every time I pass by the too-perfect tree I have to remember it could be worse: it could be a tumbleweed.

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