O Plastic Tree, O Plastic Tree

I need help here. 

I’m going to say it.  Shameful as it may be, yes, I’ll say it, right here in front of God and everybody else.

Christmas treeI have a fake Christmas tree.

My house is 164 years old.  It’s partially restored but a long way from finished.  I’ll never forget the moment when I walked into the front foyer for the first time.  I looked up at the ten-foot ceiling, then I looked at the glass sidelights and transom that wrap around the glass-paneled front door, all original 1800s wavy glass panes, loose enough to rattle in the muntins, uninsulated, and leaky as hell, and I said,  “Think of the Christmas tree I could put in here!”

That’s half the reason I bought this ongoing-project-of-a house.

I love Christmas trees.

I love all of them, from the uber-chic designer trees to the tacky trees with ugly garland piled on a foot thick.

And falling somewhere on the upper middle of the Christmas tree scale, is mine.  I have a really gchristmas tree 6reat tree. 

Of course I can say that, because it’s always the same.  It’s a fake tree.

And okay, yeah.   I know.  That’s not nearly as good as a real tree. I know this because everybody around me has real trees and when I’m talking with somebody and I say I have an artificial tree, there’s a very brief, subtle pause, with just a slight lifting of both eyebrows.  You might not even notice it if you’re not paying attention.

Then they smile and nod, trying to hide the fact that they’ve just judged me.

“Oh,” they’re thinking.  “I thought she had better taste!  Bet she bought it at K-Mart.”

I could have bougchristmas tree7ht it at K-Mart.  Just two days ago I walked through their Christmas department and drooled over their awesome selection of really awesome artificial trees.

But I didn’t buy it there.  I bought it at an upscale Christmas shoppe. 

See?  There’s an extra p and an e on the end of “shop” which proves it’s upscale. 

Snork!  Ahem….

I don’t get a real tree for two reasons. 

First, I have an unusual attachment to trees. I feel a kinship with them.  I have such a deep love for trees that it’s almost painful for me to see one cut.  It’s a sad weakness.   I can’t enjoy having a cut tree in my house without wondering at what beautiful thing it might have become if I hadn’t cut it.  I just can’t do it.

Second, I like to put my tree up at the winter solstice, December 20th or 21st, and leave it up until  February 2nd, Groundhog Day.  Some of y’all remember a blog I did last January called Waiting For The Light To Come.  I confessed that I get clinical depression in the winter, and February 2nd is the point at which I can feel the season turning, spring coming, and hope renewed. So that’s when I’m ready to take down my tree and unplug its cheerful lights.

No real tree will last that long.

When I was a little girl, Daddy would take me out to the woods and we’d cut down a little cedar tree.  It was christmas tree redusually about six feet tall, and it smelled heavenly. 

Then a few years later we got a fake tree, and it was full and fluffy and perfect.  Every needle was stick-straight and the same shade of fake green.  I hated it.  From about a mile away you could look at it and say, “that’s a plastic tree.”  When I was little, fake trees were awful.

Things have changed.

Artificial trees come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they’re beautiful.

Now my tree is nine feet tall, slender, and looks like a real evergreen, even up close. 

I wrap several strands of white lights in piles around the center “trunk” then wind many more lights through the branches.  I learned this technique from a book with a title I can’t remember, but it was probably something like “Martha Stewart rocks Christmas” or some such.  When I plug it in, with all those lights in the center, it glows like something from another realm.

But no matter how excellent my tree is, it’s still a plastic tree.

If y’all read the newsletter, you know that Marco, Paulo and some of the other guys on staff had some issues recently when they went out hunting for trees to decorate the various rooms here in the lair.   Christmas tree3

No fake trees here. 

So I did a survey in the lair about what kind of trees the Bandits get for their own homes.

Bandita Suz said, “We’ve always gotten a real tree since we got married. The Jazzman (aka, my hubby) loved them when he was small. Hated helping his mom put up the fake one.”

Bandita Nancy said, “We have a real tree.  We like the smell of it and the texture.

Yeah.  No love for the plastic tree.

Bandita Jo said,  “We generally like a live tree.  There’s something very satisfying and comforting about the smell of pine in the house.”

Yes. Yes, there is. *Heavy sigh*

Bandita Tawny said, “I love real trees, but both of my girls have really bad allergies. After a few sniffly, watery holidays I gave in and got an artificial tree.  Ours is about 8 foot, green and lit with whichristmas tree branchte lights.”

Finally, another artificial tree!

Small consolation though.  Tawny has a plastic tree, but she doesn’t like it.  “I miss having a live tree,” she said.  “The scent and feel of it is always wonderful.  But I do bring in a few boughs to decorate with, and we have a live wreath on the door.  Those don’t seem to send my kids into misery.” 

Okay she’s only doing this for the sake of her children’s health.  Hmmm..

I asked Bandita Trish what she had, and she said, “Fake. I actually have two, the smallish one I’ve had since college and a big one that I got when we bought our house because the front living room has a vaulted ceiling. I don’t like cleaning up after live ones, and knowing my allergies they would make me sneeze anyway.”

Hmmm…once again, allergies are the determining factor.

I’m still feeling like the odd woman out.

Joanie said, “Replica tree…yeah…that’s what I’ll call it…replica.  Don’t recall a real tree growing up as my brother suffered from allergies.”

Once again, it would be a real tree if not for the children’s health—or for the sake of the cats…“The artificial ones HAVE improved over the years, especially in assembly,” Joan said.  “I have a pre-lit one now about 6 feet tall that comes in 3 pieces. And I can tie it to the wall so certain kitty elves don’t topple it.”

Yes, the kitties do love to climb the Christmas tree.  Real or fake. 

Hey, at least Joanie tried to be diplomatic about it.

Christmas tree with white tipsBandita Caren said, “Our tree is fake. It’s a 6-foot Douglas Fir and is, naturally, pine green…We stick with fake because pine is the thing I am most allergic to in the world!”

Okay I’m getting a complex here.

Even my evil twin, Duchesse Jeanne, stands against me in this question.. “We always get a fresh tree, usually on my birthday,” she said.  “We’ve bought the kind you can plant before, but I’m running out of places in the yard to put them, so fresh cut it is.” 


Bandita Christina said, “We do a fake tree. Not many people have real ones where I live. It’s getting on in years now, probably needs replacing, It’s plastic, with dark green needles and it’s decorated with all the loChristmas tree2ve and tackiness we can manage.”

Yes, yes, YES!  Finally!  Apparently I would fit in better if I moved to Australia.  Ahem.

Bandita Anna Sugden, who lives in England now, said, “These days, a real tree – we always get a special “non-drop” tree (A Nordmann or a Norwegian Spruce, she says, which I’m assuming will not drop its needles) so that it’s safe for the cats…Have always preferred a real tree, but when we lived in NJ we couldn’t get non-drop trees, so bought a fab fake tree (which we still have in the loft), which looked very realistic!”

Yeah.  You can tell she’s just trying to make me feel better, can’t you? That’s the thing about the Bandits.  We always have each others’ backs, even if one of us is off in left field with regard to Christmas trees.  *heavy sigh*

Bandita Susan Sey said, “I Christmas tree fiber opticprefer real…In our on-the-road-for-Christmas years, we sometimes will buy a really small real tree (think Charlie Brown’s Christmas).”

I found a ray of hope, though.  She went on to say, “Sometimes, we just decorate my extremely tacky fake tree from Target.  It’s about two feet tall and comes complete with LED color-shifting lights built into the end of each needle.  It’s wicked awesome.  Like a disco ball/Christmas tree mashup.”

That’s the kind of tree that both my mom and my father-in-law have now.  Very space efficient.  And I’ve gotta say, they do rock. 

I remember a couple of years when my mom had a retro silver aluminum tree.  I hated those when I was little (when they were NOT retro) but now I think they’re kind of cool.  They reflect any colors around them and are Christmas tree vintage silver foiljust straight up fun.

Disco trees notwithstanding, artificial trees of all kinds  have come a long way.  I have to get up close to some of them–even touch them–to know whether they’re real or not.  

Still, it’s obvious that I’m outnumbered.  I’m thinking of applying for minority status.

My squeamishness about cutting down a live tree (or buying one that’s been cut down) is definitely in the minority.   With a fake tree, there’s no magical smell of evergreen that says “Christmas” any time you breathe it in.  There’s no “real tree in the house” energy about it.

But you don’t have to water an artificial tree.  And it doesn’t drop needles or turn brown. 

Just sayin.

Christmas tree purpleBandit Buddies, what do you do?

Is your tree real?  Or fake?

If it’s fake, what color is it?  How tall?  And do you miss the touch and scent of the real thing?

If it’s a real tree, where do you get it?  Do you cut your own?  If not, where do you buy it?

When do you put it up? Is there a special day each year?  Or is it whenever you manage to get to it?

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you participate in another festival or holiday this time of year? 


Watch for our annual 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, with fun and so many prizes Santa can’t carry them, coming in just a few days!

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  • Jane says:

    We have a fake tree, but I’ve always wanted a real one. It’s just easier to have a fake tree in an apartment. Our tree is green is not too big, about 5 ft tall. We try to decorate right the tree right after Thanksgiving.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I agree, Jane, artificial trees are so much easier to take care of and they store quite well. If you have a limited space, that’s the way to go.

    • Jane, decorating the tree right after Christmas is one of the advantages that I can see with having a fake tree. We usually wait until 2 weeks before Christmas to get ours.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Jane I totally agree about easier in an apartment. I do find, though, that having a fake tree means you have to STORE said tree the other months of the year. We have a small storage unit, and I keep it in there, but I know someone who has a “Christmas tree room.” The tree stays decorated year-round, and they just open the doors and roll the tree out.

    • Jane, congrats on snagging the rooster again! The beauty of an artificial tree is that you can put it up early if you like, keeping it up as long as you like, and it isn’t going to turn brown, droop, or shed needles every time the dog’s tail strikes it. I can definitely see the benefit.

  • Amy Conley says:

    I have a fake tree, several actually, but I HATE them. When I grew up we always had real trees, one live one we planted in our front year. Hubby always had fake.His thinking was ” if it was good enough for me…”
    When we were first married we couldn’t afford a real tree and I grudgingly agreed to fake. I cried almmost all day long those first few Christmases. That fake tree made me want to skip everything about one of my favorite holidays and if it weren’t for my kids I would have skipped it all. I finally went out one year and bought that real tree. Finally I was happy. There was still something missing, my family. My in-laws were great, but I wanted Christmas with my family. So in one Christmas I got the real tree and my family, then a dead tree when I got home because hubby forgot to water it.
    For the last few years we have stuck with a small, fake tree, I still hate, but since we have grandkids the number of gifts have doubled, at least, and I need as much room as possible. 🙂

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry, Amy. It must be terrible to be stuck with something you don’t like.

      I still miss the smell of the pine tree. Smell evokes such strong memories and it takes me right back to my childhood, too.

      • Cassondra Murray says:

        Jo, you’re so right about the smells and the memories they evoke. I don’t think there’s much more powerful actually.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Aw, Amy, I think you should go out this year and get yourself a small real tree! You could get one in a pot that could be planted if you don’t want a cut one that you have to water. It would smell great, and you could give it away later (assuming you don’t want to plant it).

      AT least get yourself some real live wreaths or some boughs of evergreen to smell good in your house!

    • Amy,

      Isn’t it amazing the amount of presents grandkids cause? I’m done with mine, but still have the adults to finish!

      • Cassondra Murray says:

        Suz, our family stopped buying for the “adults” a few years ago. We only buy for the kids now. And the oldest kid just started college. the youngest is in high school. So now comes the problem of, “when do you stop that?”

        Three families who don’t “need” anything–everybody got tired of the shopping I guess. I used to do small scrapbooks of family photos or make up special framed photos of old family pics (ancestors) rather than “buying something” so STeve and I were the last to give in. Now all the kids want is an itunes gift card, so it’s kind of boring. *heavy sigh*

        • Amy Conley says:

          .We do need a new tree in our front yard. With my mil’s health issues it will probably wait til next year.

  • Helen says:


    We have a fake tree it is pine about 6 ft and looks great but we have only had this one for about 8 years before that yes we would get a real tree and I loved the smell but I hated the needles dropping and believe you me they drop quickly here in Oz because of the heat and gone are the days when you could pick one up from the Boy Scouts for around $10 I saw them at the supermarket this week and they want $50 for them !! When I was a child we never had a tree at all my Nana did she had a gold aluminium one and I loved it and we did have a plastic one when we first got married until it fell to peices and thats when we dicided on the real one. I do miss the real ones in some ways but yep really it is way too hot over here for them.

    I always let my grandchildren decorate the tree and it is a lopsided picture LOL but I love it I did put pictures on facebook for anyone to see and we put it up when we get the chance sometime in the first week of December

    Enjoy your fake tree Cassondra as we enjoy ours

    Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      It’s so much fun to let the grands decorate the tree, isn’t it, Helen. I did that too, but alas mine are grown up enough they’re not much interested as they have their own trees to decorate.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Helen, I never thought about that–about the heat making the tree so short-lived. I wonder if that’s why Christina said not too many people have real trees around where she is?

      If I can ever get my act together, I want to have a tree decorating party the evening after Thanksgiving “lunch” (We fix our meal in the middle of the day. ) Then friends can help us get the thing together and fluff the branches out and the lights strung. Alone it’s a chore, but with friends and some wine, it becomes a fun job!

      • Helen says:

        That would be so much fun Cassondra we always have a lot of fun when the kids are decorating they get so excited and yes Jo I do hope mine want to keep docorating for a long while yet:)

        Have Fun

  • Barb says:

    Hi Cassondra
    We have a fibre optic tree so doesn’t need decorating … It is about 3 feet high including the pot…. We usually are away at the daughters for Christmas and the grandchildren are no longer young so this is easier for DH and I … We used to have a real tree when I was young as I was bought up in the UK so they are better there as they last longer in the cold weather…

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Those trees are very beautiful, Barb, and a great option when you’re gone for the holiday. No sense in coming back to a bunch of dead pine needles on your carpet!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Barb, I think the fiber-optic trees are so cool! When I see my mom’s and my FIL’s trees, it always makes me want one. I’d miss the decorating though.

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I am at a stage in my life where I do no tree at all, haven’t had one for years but my last fake tree is still in the basement. It was really hard to tell it was fake even close up.
    When my father passed my mother and I had no transportation other than a Greyhound bus that ran 4 times a day, I have carried a lot of things on that bus, boxes of dinnerware, wedding gowns, groceries, being without wheels was not an easy thing to manage but a live Christmas tree was just not in the cards. I brought our first fake tree home in 1970 and it was the end of cut trees.
    Oh, and the last live tree I had in 69? Came home from work to find it in the floor with one of my three cats stuck in the top.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      That’s hilarious, Dianna. I can just picture the kitties making their home in the tree. What a sight!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Okay Dianna, that’s not a bit funny in real life, but in hindsight, I laughed out loud when I read this.

      Cats and Christmas trees. They’re not a good combination. I’m looking for one of those Scat Mats to put around the edges of the tree. Supposedly they buzz and tingle and the cats hate it when they step on it.

      • Joan Kayse says:

        Good luck with that!

        Joanie who’s tried EVERYTHING!

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Joanie, have you tried the Scat Mats? They get great reviews.

          I saw one years ago when they first came out and couldn’t afford one then. (I was just married) but I’ve remembered them ever since. Expensive, but if it’ll save my tree, I want one.

  • Mozette says:

    Is your tree real? Or fake?

    I’ve only ever had a fake tree… however my Aunt and Uncle used get real ones with real spiders escaping it and they were REAL BIG! So, we opted for plastic thanks! Otherwise, Dad would have Mum and I moving into a hotel for the first 6 months of each year.

    If it’s fake, what color is it? How tall? And do you miss the touch and scent of the real thing?

    It’s green… well, my little 4 foot one is. I’d love to have a real tree… and a white Christmas one day.

    If it’s a real tree, where do you get it? Do you cut your own? If not, where do you buy it?

    When do you put it up? Is there a special day each year? Or is it whenever you manage to get to it?

    I normally put it up on 1st December… but I have been putting it up on the last week of November lately…

    If you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you participate in another festival or holiday this time of year?

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Ouch! Those spiders would have cured me of the desire for a real tree forever, Mozette! We’ve never had anything creepy crawly come out of our live trees over the years, thank goodness.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Wow, Mozette, I’d never want a real tree if big spiders came out of it.

      Not just no, but HECK no. I have enough creepy crawlies as it is, living in this old house.

  • Deb says:

    Hi, Cassondra. We have an artificial tree. It’s new to us since we bought it last year (the old one kept falling over). It is actually beautiful, pre-lit fir. It even has pinecones on it! The only thing I do not like about it is that it has golden white lights because I like multi-colored lights. They are pretty lights, don’t get me wrong, I just like color. We went with an artificial tree about 8 years ago because I was tired of still finding needles on the floor in March and I was afraid of fire. With an artificial tree, I can leave the lights on when I go away.

    Did you know you can buy long, green spindles that are pine scented to hang on the tree? They are really neat and the scent is mild, not over-bearing.

    Our tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving and comes down on New Year’s Day (DH is Mr. Bah Humbug that way.) BUT, with the holiday extending a little longer this year, I think I will wait to take it down until the following Friday or Saturday.

    When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that my grandparents’ aluminum tree wash so sparkly and shiny. It’s fun to see how that trend is coming back after 45 years or so.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I did not know about that way to get the pine smell from your tree without the blasted needles, Deb! Thanks for the tip.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Deb, your tree sounds stunning! I love the ones with pine cones on them. I am a fan of all colors of lights, but have fallen in love with just white lights for the Christmas tree. Growing up, we had all colors, and the big fat bulbs –which, by the way, are also coming back into favor–there’s a whole section of retro lights in stores now, which I absolutely love.

  • Kaelee says:

    We used to have a real tree but we haven’t put one up since 1998.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      That’s a long time without a tree, Kaelee. Just too much work? We’re getting to the point where I’d rather just put out decorations in general rather than a tree.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Kaelee, that’s a long time without a tree. But they are a whole BUNCH of work, whether they’re artificial or real. I love outdoor lights, but we haven’t put any up since we’ve had this house. There’s always too much else to do, and I never get around to it.

  • Shannon says:

    I’m not putting up a tree this year unless I decide to copy someone and put it up late December and keep it to Ground Hog’s Day. (I’ll get home around the 12th.) I do crave light until late January; the days seem so short and the nights so long. I have done the fake tree for years. I had a beautiful 10′ tree in my place with a cathedral roof. My current incarnation is a 5″ douglas fir, suitable for a small condo. But it drops plastic as well, so clean up is several vacuum cleanings.

    I love the smell of a real tree, but I hate the needles dropping, and I am terrified of fire. A childhood friend lost her home and all their Christmas presents in a fire. We were 11 or 12 at the time.

    My compromise has been on some years to buy a life wreath and sweep up the mess from in front of my door.

    Most years, I do get out my nativity sets. Both are hand painted by my Mom, so they have special meaning.

    A merry Christmas to you all–the season is real even if the tree is not!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Good idea on the wreaths, Shannon, for the pine smell.

      My daughter (also Shannon) inherited my nativity from her childhood, so I only have 2 smaller ones. I like putting out those and my collection of angels on tables and counters during the season.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Shannon, you’re so right about the season being real. Love it that you have your mom’s hand-painted nativity scenes!

      I remember constant warnings on tv and radio about keeping your tree unplugged at night and when you weren’t home, and keeping it well-watered, getting it dipped by the fire department, etc. I always thought, “if you have to turn the thing off constantly, what’s the point. Night is when it’s pretty!”
      But I also knew someone who had a fire from the Christmas tree. Old, faulty strings of lights caused it, not the tree itself, but every firefighter I know dreads the Christmas season. Let’s see…let’s take dried out tree parts and lots of paper, then pile it all around bent, twisted electrical wiring. Yeah.

  • CateS says:

    Have had several fake trees over the years.. we started because the real trees that we liked were becoming so expensive.. get out there and price a 12 foot tree.. then there was the year of a real tree that we had to completely UNDECORATE because it wasn’t taking up water, recut the trunk and had to redecorate… Fakes started that year!
    We donated the largest fake to a local school.. and recently replaced a fake that had to be assembly limb by limb and then strung with lights withe the tree of my hubby’s dream… a pre-lit tree!!! Bought on sale last year.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      A pre-lit tree sounds heavenly, Cate. I hate the part where you wrap the tree, artificial or not, with lights.

      I remember my mom and dad always having a huge quarrel when the lights went on. It was so stressful!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Cate, the pre-lit trees are really, really nice, and I’m starting to wish I had one. The decorating is fun–the putting on the lights–not so much fun.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Delightful post, Cassondra.

    The artificial trees have come such a long way from the ones I saw when I was a child. They’re so beautiful and except for the lack of the pine smell, I can’t tell the difference. My daughter has a gorgeous million-foot one and it’s so lovely and decorative.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Jo, I seriously have to walk across the room and touch some of them to know whether they’re real. Still not the “energy” of a real tree though, and that smell is just amazing. I burn evergreen candles to make up for it, and usually get some wreaths and candle rings of real evergreen. Which helps.

  • flchen1 says:

    LOL, Cassondra! We have a fake tree, and since I grew up with fake trees, I love ours. The one I recall as a kid was one of those that came in a zillion pieces, and you had to sort the color coded “stems” in order to assemble the tree so that it looked more “real” (ha!) One year when my little brother was a toddler, he knocked the whole shebang over and reassembling it (lights and all) was quite the chore! Later our parents replaced that with a much smaller one-piece model that you basically pulled whole out of the box and just fluffed. Our current tree comes in a few pieces that fold up, umbrella style. I think the kids can basically assemble it themselves 😀 We haven’t pulled it out yet, but the kids are ready, so maybe this weekend, in between soccer games and dance practice!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      flchen1, your whole experience sounds exactly like mine. The color-coded branches and all–but still it didn’t look very real.

      And my current tree also comes in three pieces which fold, umbrella style. You have to put the “trunk together, the branches fold out, and then you have to fluff and shape them. It’s fairly time-consuming for a 9-foot tree! It’s beautiful though, when it’s up.

      • flchen1 says:

        Wow! 9 feet is pretty tall! Ours is only 7 feet, and it still is quite a bit of fluffing 😉 DH wants to replace with a prelit tree since he doesn’t like doing the lights, but I’m not quite ready to make that leap 😉

  • Cassondra,

    While we do get a real tree, this year we’re going to have to be extra diligent re: needles. I imagine Rusty will try to eat them. AND I’ll need to put all the stuffed, soft ornaments on the bottom, in case he takes to stealing them. No glass or breakables down there.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Suz, I bet Rusty will have a ball with his first Christmas! We stopped putting on breakable ornaments when we got cats. :0/ I have some neat ones, but there’s no point in hanging them just to have them knocked off and broken.

      Sometimes we just do the white lights and some frosted bead garland. It’s really simple, but the whole tree shimmers. We don’t have kids though, so haven’t collected ornaments they’ve made and such. Those things become neat traditions and they’d be hard to give up.

    • Suz, we have to avoid breakables on the bottom because the tree is by the door, and the dog’s wagging tail wreaks havoc.

  • Minna says:

    We’ve always had the real deal and we get the tree from our own forest. It used to be more or less in front of the tv in the living room, but few years ago we finally got an extension cord (why no one thought of that before…).

  • Susan Sey says:

    Oh my gosh, Cassondra! That silver tree! My mom used to have one, too! We used to set it up in the corner of my sister’s bedroom. She had the big room for some reason, & we all slept there together on Christmas eve. We liked having a tree in the room. Festive, right?

    But, wait, there’s more! We also had a spotlight on it! A spotlight with a rotating disc of colored lenses in it so the tree alternately lit up in each of the primary colors. Plus…green? Maybe? I don’t remember the specifics, just that it was the coolest thing ever.

    Ah, memories.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Susan I’m getting this description from both sides! Steve was just sitting at the computer, describing this exact rotating disk with the colored lenses. I remember seeing those when I was a kid.

      And I agree about having a tree in the room. It is very festive. If I could manifest all of my “inner Martha Stewart” as fully as I’d like, there’d be a tree in every room.

  • Cassondra, when I was in grade school, the Western Auto had one of those aluminum trees with a rotating color wheel lighting it up. I yearned for one of those, but my parents adamantly refused. Nowhere to put it, they said. Accurately. But still…It looked so magical!

    When the dh was growing up, they lived on the side of a mountain, so they went up the hill every year and chose a tree.

    I’ve never heard of that trick with the lights around the trunk, but I bet it’s beautiful. Tough to do, though, with a fresh tree because of the sap.

    Yes, fake trees have come a long way. They have ones now that’re are indistinguishable from real until a person gets very close.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Nancy, it’s tough to wind the light strings around the trunk even with an artificial tree–if you have the kind where the branches do not detach. It’s a two-person job for sure. I have threatened to just leave those strands of lights around that trunk and pack the tree up like that, but I’m too safety conscious for that. I need to be able to check the light strands each year and make sure nothing has damaged the wires, plus there’s inevitably one that goes bad and needs replaced. It is very pretty though, once it’s done.

  • Connie Fischer says:

    I gave up on real Christmas trees many years ago when I discovered that there was no way I would ever be able to vacuum up all of those sharp little needles from the carpet. We have spent Christmas at our son’s house for a few years, but this year, we’re staying home and decided to purchase a little 4-foot tall artificial tree that is already pre-lit. We put some small little decorations on it and it looks wonderful. Now, the hard part is going to be to keep the kitties out of it. They are working very hard to “check it out.” I’m betting it will be knocked over before the day is over. That’s OK because I’m only using unbreakable ornaments. 🙂

    Happy Holidays!

  • Cassondra Murray says:

    Connie your pre-lit tree sounds wonderful. And yes, I would bet the kitties will have great fun knocking that tree over. Then they will rush away and sit looking like “it wasn’t me. I didn’t do nuffin.”

    Happy Holidays to you as well!

  • We have a beautiful 7.5 foot artificial tree with built in white lights and we love it. It looks beautiful and festive, is easy to put up and take down, doesn’t shed in our house, and lasts through the whole season. We don’t want to kill a tree just to decorate our house and we like to keep things simple but elegant.

    If we want the scent, we can supplement with a fresh wreath. We’re with you!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Kimberly, your tree sounds gorgeous! One of these days I may end up with a pre-lit tree too.

      And okay I don’t feel so weird now. Somebody else has tree love with me. *grin*

      • We do indeed! 🙂 There was one year my mom convinced me to get a ‘real’ tree and it was a disaster! A pain to put up, it shed everywhere and broke my vacuum cleaner. No thank you! Not to mention the death and disposal of said tree.

        Nothing is sadder than post-Christmas neighborhood streets lined with the carcasses of dead trees, like a Charlier Brown Christmas morgue of sadness.

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Awwww, Kimberly, I can only imagine what that’s like in the suburbs, if that’s where you live. We live WAY out in the country, and don’t see as much of that, although I pass my share of tree carcasses on the way into town. The years we had a live tree, I always cut it up and used it for mulch. At least it completed the cycle, even if it was premature, yaknow? I appreciate the industry that produces Christmas trees, and value the economic support it provides for all those families. But on a personal, up-close level, I just can’t do it. :0/

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    I’m LOL Cassondra about you’re being a minority on the tree thing. :> I adore the new, fabulous faux trees. They are, as everyone has said, incredibly lifelike. I have even seen one which hangs from the ceiling, upside down, if you want a topsy-turvy Christmas! Heehee. (I think whoever decided to do that does NOT have cats as that would be waaaaaay tooo tempting for any feline! It would help with the dog-wagging-tail-ornament-smashing issue, however!)

    I love the fresh trees and we support our local fire dept at the same time. And probably some of our relatives in NC who sold said firemen the trees. Grins. I love the garland and fresh wreaths too and will put up with the sap and needles – although I put down a tarp under the tree, then put down two big black plastic trash bags, then the tree and tree skirt. When we take it down, I bundle it up like a body – snork! – and the DH drags it outside from there. Very little mess left inside that way. Grins. Martha would be so proud!

    This year I’ll have to do the same as Suz and Nancy, and keep the lower branches clear of breakables. We adopted two labs back in April and those tails….yikes!!

    Had to LOL about all the cat stories too. I used to have Siameses and they ADORED the tree. Didn’t climb it, thankfully, but….

    We’ve seriously considered a faux tree and may go there yet, but for now, we’ll keep supporting the hunky firemen. Grins.

  • catslady says:

    Sorry, only real trees here lol. My husband is allergic to the sap but this is one of the few things I get my way on lol. I hated when my family switched to a fake tree. I can understand the fake trees, not half as much work and cheaper in the long run and you can put it up any time you want but still…We’re having our tree trimming party this Sunday so will be getting our tree tomorrow – weather is calling for ice pellets – fun and games lol. One advantage is that I usually get a Scotch pine with pointy needles so with the many cats I have and had, they never really bother it much lol.