Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm Totally Freaking Out about Throwing the Christmas Tree Out

I am conflicted, ya'all...

See, I grew up with a fake tree. My whole life, I experienced the beginning of the Christmas season by watching my parents haul out a big, beat-up box from the garage. And of course, this mangled box held a plastic, green puzzle of branches, that when placed on a big, color coded stick, became our Christmas tree. For me this was simply part of the tradition you just don't mess with, especially when you have animals that might eat/climb up/pee on the tree.

So when I met my hubby, back when we were teenagers, his first experience with a fake tree happened to be with us. Obviously it was true love, because he laughed, hysterically, the whole time we put the tree together, which for a happy memory did not make. The color coded branches sent him over the edge, as did the rash he acquired from digging around to get the right branch for the right row, yet none of my practical reasoning stopped the guffawing or endless scratching...I think I got a watch that year...

Anyway. Once we got married, he conceded to the fake tree tradition, and wearing long-sleeves, since I probably whined and complained and claimed that the chemicals they spray on real trees can cause facial paralysis. I also complained about pine needles, tree sap, fire hazards and the potential of a Black Widow or a rabid squirrel lurking in the thick branches, waiting to bite my hand as I added the candy canes.

And of course you couldn't compare the tree we had back when I was a kid, that was from the 70's, to the new, 8-foot-tall beautiful LETTER coded tree that stood in our home for many years. I mean, now they even come pre-lit. That removes a half-hour of tree work right there!

So once we moved into this tiny apartment, I realized we had no place to store a fake tree, and so for a few years we had little fake trees...until this year. Yes everyone, I conceded to having a real tree...

See across the street they have a seasonal outdoor nursery, and, they have those farmed trees, all beautiful and stuff, AND they have an open fire, to roast marshmallows, hot cider, music playing and a REAL LIVE nativity scene! Doesn't that right there scream,"get a real tree you silly woman!"??

So, it was like this: eat marshmallows, stare at the goats, walk around and check out the trees. Then it was time to haggle.

Me: "Do these trees have chemicals?"
Guy: "Nope"
Me: "Spiders?"
Guy: "Eh?"
Me: "Squirrels?"
Guy: "What??"

So we left with a pretty Oregon tree on the roof of our car. How iconic! Or ironic, not sure which...

When we got home I googled real Christmas trees to learn everything you need to know about hosting a real pine tree in the house. And, it goes like this: water the tree. N'uff said.

So I have enjoyed the very VERY strong pine scent it has emitted for the past 5 weeks, and I have also enjoyed watering it, talking to it, inspecting the needles, and not using Neosporin on my forearms from the usual rash I too get from the fake tree branches.

Now Christmas is over. I am supposed to throw it out.

I don't want to.

It's still fresh! Pretty! Barely a needle has fallen off! I want to will it to grow roots! I want to plant it! I know it's already basically dead in its stand but I WANT IT TO LIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

I want to put it on our patio and water it. Hubby thinks that's a tad, um, tacky.

Audrey suggested we put it in the closet. Interesting, and to her really, that's where trees go when we are done with them.

Jacob wants to recycle it, as he wants to recycle everything we own; he faithfully checks every plastic and paper container for its recycle number, while telling me we must save the environment or else. I must seriously get a donation into PBS...they do some great educating I tell ya...

So I looked up recycling. And it's not the blissful image I had, of driving our tree to some beautiful open area, where it happily decomposes with its brothers and sisters, providing nourishment for woodland creatures and the soil...nope. You just stick it next to the garbage can and apparently they recycle it for you.


Why am I getting all choked up about this?

So, I know these trees are grown for this purpose, and I know they can and do recycle them for you. Sheesh it's not that much different than buying flowers and throwing them out, but man, I feel like I am flushing a hamster down the toilet or something, let alone $59...

What do you all do? Fake or real? Do any of you freak out like me, or am I just hormonal?


Goodbye tree. I love you.


robin said...

this is one of your funniest posts yet! an no kim, no one freaks out like you do. that's why we read your blog! so we can all watch the train wreck happen right before our eyes! however, you are a lovely train wreck to smell like pine too! and hand sanitizer! i love you girl! keep that tree up for as long as you want!

w said...

dude. this was an awesome post.

didn't we just talk about me leavaring my fake tree up all year? you told me i cullen't. psh. if you're gonna leave yours up, i'm gonna leave mine up. spider mayeronkey.

also. that poor tree guy. he had no idea you were comin'. did the trees come from tanzania? idk. that's all i could come up with for tan.

Lynn Kellan said...

Sniffle. Your Xmas tree is purty. I'm fake - I mean, my tree is fake, but real trees are so much nicer.

Dee at Pedestrian Palate said...

We had a real tree before animals and children made that an unsafe choice. I HATED throwing it out. We always kept it until it was dried out to the brink of fire hazard, then the disposal is much less emotional.

Carapace said...

I always get teary throwing out my arbolito (Christmas tree!), even though we live in the woods and it just goes to compost and feed its sisters and's a final farewell to the year, tossing out the spirit of the past and opening room for the future.
Try to offset it like I do, by getting a New Year plant. We got a rosemary tree! And welcome to the ranks of the True Tree families.;)

Kearsie said...

This is us:

*Go into macabre and dusty attic to locate the gigantor fake Christmas tree box half buried amongst our crap.

*Heave and toil and sweat and perfom box surgery to remove it from the midst of crap.

*Heave and toil and sweat and perform removal from attic surgery.

*Haul ginator box into living room.

*Take a two hour break and stare at the box, willing it to erect itself artfully and tastefully.

*Heave a sigh, open box and try to remember how we set up the tree last year.

*Plug light cords in, rearrange wayward tree branches and step back.

*Notice it is leaning a bit to the left.

*Do an Army crawl under the tree and attempt to tweak tree stand.

*Extract yourself from tree, step back and see it is leaning now quite a bit to the left.

*Give up and let the girls who are like hyenas on a fresh carcas attack the tree with all your fragile ornaments.

*Wait until they are asleep and rearrange ornaments, mostly those that hang down on the very bottom branch, which cut off access to placing presents under the tree.

*Go through the month of December rarely looking at the tree, much less plugging in the lights.

*Go through Christmas Eve and Day, with lights blazing merrily. Then shut them off.

*January 1, look at the tree and heave a sigh whilst removing ornaments, at least one will be forgotten in there and wind up broken. Accept this loss and look forward to a clean room.

Also, I think I just wrote a blog post here.

StudiusMaximus said...

Nice post, hon. Yes, Audrey kept suggesting the closet option. Remember, we ruled that one out, don't get any ideas.

SurferWife said...

I do fake. Because a decent live tree around here goes for upwards of $80+ dollars. I also don't have to deal with the mess. For some reason our trees dry out super fast. Must be our climate.

SierraMac said...

We have a fake tree too, mostly because it doesn't seem very eco-friendly to grow trees for the sole purpose of throwing them out after two weeks.

However, the nostalgia does threaten to take over once in a while...but I fight it!

We discovered the BEST tree-scented candle though: Mrs. Meyer's brand soy candle in "Iowa Pine" scent. Didn't know there was an Iowa pine, but whatever. You might be able to get them on sale now - we got ours at Target, but you can get 'em pretty much anywhere.

As for your tree, I think you should feel free to put it on the patio and keep it watered. Seriously. You paid $59 for it - you might as well get your money's worth and enjoy it for as long as possible!! Besides, as long as you take the lights and ornaments off, it'll just look like landscaping.

Love ya - good for you for facing your tree fears this year!!

Mary K Brennan said...

I grew up with the real deal. And right after my brother let it fall on me was when I decided that I will have a fake tree.
I do miss the smell, but not the mess or alergies that came with it.
I say pack the balls and replace them with hearts. Keep it as long as you can.
Celebrate as long as you can.

The Retired One said...

For years we got real trees. For years our children would be sick every Christmas.
Yep, I'm not the sharpest pine needle on the branch.
We finally figured out they had allergies to the live trees.
So that is when we gave them up.

As far as disposing of it, why don't you bring it out it the woods somewhere, prop it up (or lay it down) with some homemade suet made of peanut butter and birdseed for the birds? The winter birds will love you for it and the tree will be a server for them? Oh well, just a thought.

Lyndsay Wells said...

Your tree is gorgeous either way!

Loved this post - it was hilarious!

I do a fake tree now. This is out of self preservation because my husband (affectionately known as the Poolboy) is a Christmas nut and like to out the tree up the last week of November. A real tree just wouldn't make it round these parts!

w said...

your blog is really preddy. i like all the cullers.

audge makes a cute ballerina. jacob makes a great mayernkey/ninja/link boy.

your banner. is a bit scary. all those varmits on it.

Jaime said...

*not being funny here*
we bought a fake tree at target last year for 75% looks real and everyone who comes to our house thinks it's real. it has two kinds of branches on it.
there. that's what we do.
the end.

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

I love the new layout! :-)

Claire said...

Haha, love your blog! These days we have a fake tree because my basset hound chews off all the pine needles on a real tree. The poor tree always had big scraggly bald patches by the time Christmas came around. It did leave her breath smelling like an air freshener though...

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