Saturday, December 01, 2012

Christmas traditions, changing again

Can a tradition change?  If it changes, can it even be a tradition?

Three years ago I wrote about my family's new Christmas-tree-fetching tradition.  Now, we are making a new one.

For most of my life I heaped scorn on the artificial Christmas tree. I grew up with real trees and fake trees were just so, so... fake.  Like my aunt's white tree with the color wheel, circa 1962.   But it didn't matter how many nice, realistic, green trees I saw: they were just not right.

But a few years my kids ago we discovered that our kids are allergic to just about every tree there is.  We wondered about sinus problems in winter.  We took advice and started hosing down the tree to get some of the nastiness out of it before bringing it in the house.  Last year we decided it was enough:  next year, we will have a fake tree.

Just before Thanksgiving my girl and I went out and scouted trees.  After checking out a few stores and online sites, we ended up with a shortish (maybe a little too short), not-too-wide tree.  We set it up to make sure there were no broken branches or burned-out lights, with the intention of taking it back down till after December 1.  Who were we kidding?  Once the tree was up and plugged in, there was no taking it back down for a couple of weeks.  We left it in place, unadorned, till we returned home from our Thanksgiving trip.

Today it is fully decorated and looking gorgeous.  No one is sneezing.  We didn't have to hose it down, or mess with the heavy tree stand.  We don't have to water it.  We don't have to scream at the occasional spider crawling out of it.  (I am not sure that actually ever happened, but it might have.  Or it could, anyway.) We don't have to constantly sweep up needles. 

We are never looking back.  Our new tradition is born.  It's hard to think of a way to make "let's go drag the tree out of the attic" festive, but we'll find the way.

Do you have a real tree, artificial tree, or no tree at all?  Give me a link to your blog post about your traditions.


theYoungerMrsWarde said...

We've always had an artificial tree. My sister-in-law is allergic so her family had to have a "multi-year" tree. :) My husband and I inherited it when we got our own place, and we did have to vacuum up dropped needles.

My tradition has been to have a different color theme every year. I buy the new color at the after-Christmas sales for 75% off and save it for the next year. I'll have a blog post about it later today after the kids and I make some snowflakes for it.

Gillian said...

I wrote a whole post about our traditions - I love learning about other people's traditions,, so thanks for the inspiration!

theYoungerMrsWarde said...

Okay, the posts are finally up!
Will you be posting a picture of your tree?

Marbel said...

Thanks for linking, Gillian and YMW! I will check out your posts!

And yes, I should post a picture of our tree. I've been very bad about posting photos (I barely blog as it is) but should get some up there.

Michelle said...

I have a short post up here:

We had a very real-looking artificial tree for years, and the kids were always excited for tree-setting-up-day! Decorating with their own ornaments and pugging in all the lights were magic enough for them. Now that the boys sell trees at the local lot each winter, we get a real tree. But honestly, I have found that it is the traditions around decorating that make the memories, not whether the tree is real or not. :) And all the better if no one is sniffling and congested!!