It used to be that Christmas trees were real trees brought at a lot on the corner. I could hardly wait until we could drag out the boxes of shinny glass ornaments from the dime store to decorate it. It was covered with tinfoil tinsel and brought the piney smell of the forest inside.
The lights seldom worked. If one went out, the whole string did. We spent most of Christmas trying to find and replace the burned out bulbs. The tree usually had a crooked trunk, and just getting the thing to stand up in the flimsy tree stand was a challenge.
Then real trees fell from favor and were replaced by aluminum trees with blue ornaments and wheels of color that changed constantly. These silver rainbow trees were about the ultimate in beauty, we thought.
But artificial aluminum tackiness didn’t last long and plastic tackiness set in with trees that looked real, but were not. These trees had about a million limbs to assemble every year with directions that always became lost after the first time.
Monstrous plastic trees with miniature lights that would not melt the phony needles took over the living rooms of America. But now it seems that even a monster tree is not enough.
“I have three trees,” said a girlfriend at work, “One for the living room, one for the den, and one in the bedroom. It’s white with red, white and blue ornaments,” she said, “for election year.”
Theme trees are all the rage. Old fashioned trees with a hodge-podge of ornaments are out. Now trees must be color-coordinated, have a theme, and match the decor of the home. Sort of takes all the fun out of it when home decorators take over the tree. “We have seven trees,” said one of the managers. “My favorite is the Titan football tree.” He then elaborated on the other tree themes as well.
The latest trend, though, is “pencil” trees, not because of the ornaments (thank goodness), but because the trees are tall and skinny to work in smaller size modern homes and apartments.
Trees now come not only in traditional green colors and white, but in blue, pink, purple, peppermint stripes and even rainbow. I can’t believe my eyes. “I used to have a pink tree in the bathroom,” said my spirit-filled friend at work. A tree in the bathroom? I don’t think so. Enough is enough! And one tree is enough for me.
I down-sized this year to a table-top tree. Yes, bah, humbug. No more monster tree. Sorry, but I’m tired of a Christmas jungle. Actually, it is rather cute, even if it is pre-lit. It has all my old wooden ornaments and is quaint, even if it is small. We decorate it every morning and the cat undecorates it every night. Maybe she prefers a catnip theme.
As far as I’ve heard, seven trees in one house is a record. That’s probably more than Walmart has in the Christmas department. With seven trees, Santa wouldn’t even know where to leave the presents.
Sometimes I miss the old days of live trees, but I don’t miss cleaning needles out of the carpet for months afterwards. I think I have two or three old trees somewhere in the attic. If I start now, I might be able to put them all up before Christmas. Want to help? I didn’t think so. Now I remember another reason why I have only one tree.
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss