...Or, in praise of the artificial Christmas Tree.
We got one of the pre-lighted artificial trees while in our seminary apartment in Gulf Drive, and I love it.
We struggled with the surprisingly-high costs of (formerly) live trees, and felt we couldn't justify it every year-- especially in those years when we planned to travel during all or part of our Christmas break. And although we both had fond memories of the various excursions with our families to pick out a tree together, we also knew enough about pastoral ministry (from previous churches) to know that the Advent/Christmas seasons are busy enough, and full of other traditions enough, to not need the added busyness of that errand.
Since then, I have become well-acquainted with the further merits of this arrangement:
Setup for our tree usually takes about 10-15 minutes, at most, from opening the box to lit in the corner.
The stand is built in, and I don't have to deal with sap, saws, or the bizarre engineering of Christmas tree stands.
It doesn't shed needles, need water, or require vacuuming after it is put up.
It breaks down even faster than it goes up.
It is paid for, and cost no more (at the end of season) than a decent formerly-live tree.
AND, it looks plenty good enough to fool many people into thinking it is real.
Now that we are in a home with a larger family room than our apartment, it would be nice to have a slightly larger tree (plus, this would give more room for the ornaments that we continue to acquire). But the one we have is adequate-- and the money we save every year could easily go toward replacing it sometime if we really wanted it.
The only thing that we really miss (well, actually only Marcie really misses it) is the scent of the fresh tree in our home. To satisfy this longing, we have sometimes bought a wreath made from cut-pine boughs, and that will do the trick.
Sing with me:
Faux tannebaum, faux tannebaum--
How many are your merits...