So Himself and I have been wrestling with some deep issues lately.
Issues that bring into sharp relief the differences in our spiritual upbringings, the differences in our faiths and the way it shapes our view of the holidays. Differing perspectives in how we want to raise the children and craft our family’s traditions.
I am speaking, of course, of that emotionally mine-field laden, timeless conflict: real versus artificial Christmas trees.
We’ve had to bring the children into this conversation, because they’re a little older now and it just feels wrong to be dealing with issues this large and not consider their opinions too. We’ve worked hard to raise children who can think, reason and articulate their feelings clearly so it seems silly to go through all that effort and then not have them participate when the situation warrants.
It’s a difficult conversation to have, obviously, but it will go fine as long as I am the parent they agree with.
But they’re a little thrown off by where Himself and I are standing on this issue.
You see, I’m the one that wants the artificial tree.
I made a list.
(Which as you all know, made me SO HAPPY because a day where I can make a list is a day where life is good, the unicorns are frolicking with the mermaids, flowers are blooming out of season and I can convince myself that chocolate has no calories.)
Here is the list I made of reasons why an artificial tree is a good choice:
- One investment lasts 15 years – $200 for an artificial tree versus $750 for annual real trees.
- Less annual guilt about putting a tree into the recycling (I know, this isn’t a real thing as long as the tree is composted. Christmas tree farming does not de-forest the planet. I just can’t quite shake the environmental angst of killing a tree every year.)
- No need to try and squeeze a trip to the tree lot every year in a season where we are so overscheduled we can barely keep ourselves hydrated.
- No need to try and get a Christmas tree home tied to the top of a 98 Volkswagen Jetta. (One year we actually – honest to god – ended up tied into the car. Cause we are a new type of brilliant where brilliance is measured by how many times a year you can get trapped in a small space.)
- We can put the tree up earlier than we typically do. I can’t stand to look at the tree once it is a water-less husk waiting to catch fire from the reflection of the sun off glass ornaments.
- Much much much much less mess.
Here is the list Himself made about why a real tree is a good choice:
- They smell nice.
Saturday we went to Target to look at artificial trees. Now, to be fair, it’s only in the last year or two where the look of an artificial tree has gotten so good that I could consider it. But some of them are just gorgeous, they’re already lit (which is a HUGE time-saver, given that it takes us nine hours and a slide rule to get the lights on the tree), and they’re very reasonably priced.
I strolled around the trees, comparing number of tips and number of lights, and the look of the branches and settled on a tree.
Himself – who is Jewish, remember – stood next to me, looking forlorn.
“It won’t have that nice smell,” he said.
“I’ll get a wreath and hang it over the fireplace. It’ll smell lovely.”
“It won’t be as natural.”
“It’s going to be covered with shiny crap. You won’t be able to tell. And then we don’t have to go get the tree.”
“I like getting the tree.”
“You won’t have to tie it to the car.”
“I don’t mind tying it to the car.”
“It won’t be as messy.”
“I don’t mind cleaning up the mess.”
And he stood in Target, gazing up at the artificial tree with giant, sad puppy-dog eyes, and I felt like I was ruining Christmas for him.
Yes, people, I was ruining Christmas for my Jewish husband.
I can’t be that kind of Scrooge.
We’re getting a real tree.
Project: Purse and Boots programming note. Today on PPNB is a blog-crossing story featuring Pursey Galore’s last three hostesses. Go take a look!