Small Talk

O Christmas tree

November 25th, 2011

What kind of Christmas tree do you have? I will be buying a large one this year.

We did not get a live tree before. The last time I had a live tree was in 1996. For years, we had a small, fake tabletop tree. It was fun and very easy to store. It took up very little space. It required no maintenance.

I realize (or remember) how important it is for children to feel like they're fitting in, and she's starting to come home and talk about wanting to do what her friends are doing. I would like to give her that, so I told Claus we should observe a traditional ritual.

This opens up a question: live or artificial? I'd now like to buy a tree that reflects my values, not my wallet. I've decided artificial can be environmentally unfriendly, and live imported trees can bring in unwanted pests.

I'm debating on cutting my own Oahu-grown tree, or having a living tree in a pot that I might even be able to keep year-round.

This means I have to buy ornaments and more decorations. When I was in college I used to enjoy shopping, and I remember the after-Christmas sales as a time to buy everything deeply discounted. It seems that's all changed- now there are great deals before Christmas, and not necessarily the best deals after December 25.

It'll be fun, though. The joy she'll get from looking at a tree in our living room will be a gift in itself!

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7 Responses to “O Christmas tree”

  1. Rosette:

    I picked a simple topiary tree....I keep it up all year long too lazy to clean...I THINK IT IS CLASSY...simple clean look..I TURN AROUND CHRISTMAS AGAIN so why bother cleaning funny..the neighbors talk about why I have tree all year long..BECAUSE I AM LAZY TO FETCH IT DOWN then store that crap again! ! husband wanted a traditional tree...HE WANTED A BIG HUGE TREE AS IF HE CLEAN THAT OR EVEN DECORATE IT..then he will hang junk decorataiton from his so called childhood full of crap decor....half burnt elf from his childhod I am suppose to hang..funny! OKAY when you are tired of an old tree just donate it somone will fetch that..funnY! Some people will buy decoration every year they have theme..all red..all gold ....check this one out hey hang PURE gold in and diamond....


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  2. Rosette:

    yes my husband and I argue he wanted TRADITIONAL TREE LIKE HIS CHILDHOOD.... so I argue back did you even look at it closely the junk that is hanged on that tree then my mother in law gives me those old half burnt elf as if I am suppose to hang that up..HINT IT IS HALF BURNT SO YOU KNOW IT WILL BRUN OUR CRAPPY HOUSE DOWN..oh ..maybe this way we get brand new house...funny..omg I tell him okay we have our traditional tree HANG DIAMOND so your grand kids will say oh my traditonal tree is full of diamond..funny! so good luck if you buy big huge tree you need to fetch that down...I am not falling for huge big tree you will eventually get fed up with the tree..then you go on holiday instead...funny! !

  3. Rosette:

    hint to my husband half burnt elf you can smell that thing for miles..I fall for that ....omg....I use to try to compromise..but HALF BURNT I pack the tree out then got me the topiary tree the only decor I put the snowflakes....omg

  4. Ken Conklin:

    When people cut flowers and put them in a vase, or chop down a tree and put it in a holder, what they have done is to kill something that was alive in order to bring it into their home and watch it slowly decay until it shrivels or turns brown. It is not "environmentally friendly" to kill living things that otherwise could continue living and stay beautiful for a long time. It's depressing to watch things we are responsible for killing go from dead to deader.

    As humans we have a higher level of sentience than animals or plants, so it's morally OK for us to do whatever we want with them. But if we say we care about the environment, then we should nurture living things and not kill them for our own short-term pleasure. And if we appreciate beauty then we should not enjoy watching beautiful things turn ugly.

    My conclusion: do one of three things. (1) Forget the whole idea of getting a Christmas tree. (2) Get a fake "tree" that was never alive -- one made from fabric or metal or plastic. (3) Get a real tree in a pot and keep it watered and fertilized so it can live its normal lifespan either inside your home or until you transplant it somewhere outdoors.

    My own choice was #(2). For more than 10 years I have had a "Christmas tree" made entirely of fabric. It's about 15 inches tall, in the shape of a tree, with alternating red and green panels sprinkled with tiny white stars and bedecked with red and green bows and balls. So festive! From Thanksgiving to New Year it sits on top of some electronic equipment in my living room where I see it all the time, and for the rest of the year it sits inside a storage box in a closet. It's actually a "rescue tree" because I found it on top of some trash in a dumpster where it had apparently been very recently discarded. Its little bows and balls looked so plaintively at me that I couldn't just walk away without rescuing it; and every year I can almost hear it sing with joy when I take it out of the box and put it in its honored place in the living room. "Holidays oh holidays it's the best time of the year ..."

    My tree is also accompanied by a green "rescue" garland draped across the top of my computer and hanging down on both sides, sort of like a 3/4 picture frame; and a few other red and green garlands in various places. But this year my favorite decoration is a potted anthurium obtained a few months ago, which has been thriving. It has about 20 green leaves, some quite large; and six bright red leaves with long, thick white or yellow anthers (stamens) that might "arouse" interest from ladies looking at them wistfully.

  5. zzzzzz:

    It's a teaching moment for you. What do you want your daughter to learn? I suggest you share your decision making process with her.

    The most environmentally friendly is probably a live tree. I wonder if any local tree farms will sell you a live tree, and then take it back after Christmas to sell again next year. That might be optimal, supporting a local business as well as minimizing your environmental impact.

  6. Ken Conklin:

    @ zzzzzz
    Two great ideas there. (1) Have a family meeting to discuss the pros and cons and make a decision; everybody gets one vote, including Olivia. And everybody participates in cleanup and returning the tree to nature, including Olivia. If there's room on your own land, or you have a friend who has land, and if there's no seller who will accept returns of used trees, then replant the tree yourselves as a family project. Olivia can go visit her tree(s) for many years to come; or perhaps you can harvest and replant the same individual tree every Christmas for many years. Even trim it and keep it short enough as the years go by, sort of like bonsai. (2) See if there's a pine tree grower on O'ahu who will allow rentals of live trees -- you buy the tree with a guaranteed repurchase of half the cost if the tree is returned in re-plantable condition. I know college textbook stores have used that business model for many years. Might also be a concept for casket rentals -- use the casket only for display during visitations and funerals, but then return the casket to the seller for a partial refund.

  7. Titus:

    I've done the potted tree way for many years, but eventually the tree did die. Now, a fake tree works best for me, and you're bugs!

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