Monday, December 19, 2011
Real Tree, Fake Tree
My cousin emailed me a couple of day ago with the news that, for the first time ever, her family had a real Christmas tree. This was a strange thought for me, as our story has been quite different.
For years and years we used to have a real pine tree for our Christmas tree. Dad would set off, two weeks before Christmas with an empty van and one son in search of the perfect tree. Many hours and several tree farms later they returned, always with a beautiful tree shedding it's needles in the back.
Then the stand was nailed onto the tree and the boys and Dad carried it in through the door, covering the carpet with more shed needles.
The real tree filled the house with the smell of pine. Every day the floor needed cleaning, but the real tree was so perfect for us that we never minded the extra work it caused.
But then, two years ago, disaster happened. The van returned without a tree of any kind. The tree farms had no trees for us.
What to do? Dad had checked everywhere for a tree. Were we doomed to a treeless Christmas?
No, it wasn't that bad. We were only reduced to a fake tree. Mum and Dad bought one at once and we girls started to put it up. I was ready to hate that tree. How could a fake tree compare to a real tree? There was no possible way.
But I couldn't hate it for long. The tree hardly shed any needles. It went up so much easier than the real tree. It even looked real. The only thing missing was the smell. And, though it was fake, it was a tree.
This year I don't mind the fake tree. It can't help not being real. And it does it's best to be a real tree. Plus there is space for all our many ornaments.
I love real trees. I love the smell and the mess. But the fake tree is tidier, more perfect, and can be used year after year. It's not real, but it is still a tree. And I don't hate it. I think I might even love our tree.