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Oh Christmas Tree – how lovely are thy fake branches

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It looks like a real tree. I don’t have to water it. And you know, the scent of pines of a real tree never lasts more than an hour.  Okay, that part is  a blatant lie.  It’s yet another technique for convincing myself that my first ever fake tree is as wonderful as a real one.

Grand Tree Janet WhiteheadIt is lovely, actually.  But wow, what an interesting process to go through, this transition from a life long tradition of cutting down a tree  – yes, that  joyous event of choosing and bringing it home – to the new event of going to Costco with my daughter and grandaughter to choose the best ‘tree’ for us.  My daughter humoured me as we perused the boxes and rejected boxes that were crunched on a corner or were covered in dust.  We had never rejected a crooked christmas tree .. more often than not, we picked the crookedest!.. so it was a tough decision to reject the less than perfect, and go for the best.

“Mom,” said daughter, “I really like the way the packaging straps are on this box.  You know, this could be the one!”   And so, the first ever fake Christmas tree was chosen.

The atmosphere of Costco with it’s industrial greyness and glaring lights was somewhat different from the Christmas Tree Farm.. with it’s sleighs and snow and hot apple cider.  For many years, this is where we got our trees – We had found a way to justify cutting down a tree, because they were being raised to become Christmas trees, after all. 

Yes, we can justify everything – if the traditions of our lifetime hold such a warm spot in our hearts.

When I was younger, we actually hiked into the forest and chopped down a tree.  I wonder if my passion for planting trees is a subconscious guilt thing.

The decision to purchase a fake tree was not based solely on saving a tree in the forest.  Our history around real trees is full of challenges – which of course make for good stories – from several occasions of fully decorating the tree and within the next two days all the needles had fallen off and thus needed to be replaced and redecorated, to the grand grand really big trees that fit our Stardust Street home beautifully and that fell down.

Yes, fell down. More often than not.  

Despite  wires and ropes and ribbons and nails in the wall.  

We have written many Christmas letters about the ghosts who played pranks with our trees.   As magical as our trees have always been… a part of me was not having a lot of fun with the ongoing challenges of having a real tree in my home. 

The new fake tree has not fallen down. Nor have the needles fallen off. And it really is lovely.  Upon assembling and spreading it’s branches, I realized that the issue of “making the tree go away after Christmas’ has now gone from never having a truck to take it to recycle to ‘if I fold these branches up every year, the needles will soon fall off, and my lovely tree will look like.. well, shit.  (excuse my language)”

And so making this tree go away after Christmas is still a mystery.   I think it has to go into a big plastic bag and be stored.  But where?  I guess I could leave it up until the boat is taken out of storage and moored for the summer, then the tree can occupy the boat’s garage.  That would be in May.  This would also mean the tree would have to be returned to the living room in October when the boat needs it’s winter home back.   Hmmm.

I’m also a little concerned that I just won’t get around to ever undecorating the fake tree and taking it down.   Really, the only reason the real trees were taken down was because there comes a time when one doesn’t turn the lights on any more since the pine needles (the ones that are left on the tree) are so dry that the tree is fire hazard.

But, sheesh, if I left it up, I’d have to dust it. And who dusts Christmas trees?

I’m okay with my new fake tree.  We are bonding.  No doubt the faeries of Christmas time love my tree whether it’s fake or not.  Hell, they probably love it more since I haven’t .. well.. chopped down the forest.

The clincher that made the fake tree okay?  Well, as it happens.. my christmas tree from last year never did get to recycle. It’s in the yard.  Now I am going to turn it into a magical Christmas wands.. to honour the past traditions.. and use those creations to honour the new tree. 

I’m going to stop calling it a fake Christmas tree now.  It’s my progressive, global thinking, Christmas tree.  It is beautiful and magical adorned by our  collection of treasured ornaments.   By the end of the holiday season, it will have been a part of a month of celebrations and it will become a tradition in it’s own right.

Good for me.. I have made it through the transition. Phew.


About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

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