Growing up, I lived on some wooded land in Virginia. When we needed a Christmas tree, my dad would grab the chainsaw and the family would tromp through the woods in search of a beauty.
For me, a real tree was essential to the Christmas experience; I couldn’t fathom what would possess someone to go faux.
Throughout my college years, Mom placed a moratorium on the no-fake-trees rule and sent me a miniature one to display in my dorm room. It always featured a lovely smattering of homemade and (of course) Texas-themed ornaments.
After getting married, I assumed I would return to celebrating the yuletide with a fresh-cut tree.
Yet what to my wondering eyes should appear but a husband…who liked fake trees. What.
We spent our first Christmas in a tiny apartment with no room for a tree besides the fake mini one from college. Conflict averted.
The following year my mother-in-law was downsizing and brought us her fake tree. Sweet MIL innocently produced the tree with enthusiasm while I attempted to conceal my horror.
Hubs did not conceal anything. He was cackling in the corner, knowing I couldn’t say anything without appearing ungrateful–and that he had just won the Great Christmas Tree Battle.
I don’t remember the gory details of the discussion that ensued afterwards, but the end result was us displaying the fake tree.
But, the shocker was I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Ironically, I even kept it up through February because we lacked a decent reading lamp for that corner of the room. Yup.
And we’ve displayed it in our home every year since.
It’s kind of grown on me–I guess because it was free (can’t beat that, yo), pre-lit, and I can always get my fix of pine smell from a fresh wreath or two.
It wasn’t until this year–when the last of our pre-lit lights stopped working and I saw all of the adorable Facebook pictures of people with saws hauling their freshly-cut trees and babies on wagons at the tree farm–that I started to question our devotion to the fake tree.
I probably could have talked Hubs into a fresh tree, packed up the babies, and headed to the tree farm.
But then I remembered my commitment to a simple, peaceful Christmas.
And on that quiet Sunday afternoon, it didn’t seem so peaceful and simple to pack up our perfectly fine fake tree and haul everyone out to cut down a fresh one. Or pay for a fresh one, for that matter.
Maybe we’ll prioritize getting a real one next year.
But this year, for us, peaceful and simple looks like stringing some extra lights on the one we already have and calling it good.
Do you have Christmas tree preferences?