Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh-oh Tannenbaum!

Since the weather was less than perfect this Thanksgiving weekend; a limp layer of snow covers the yard and trees, and a rink-perfect layer of ice gleams on the streets, we decided to allow the boys to decorate the Christmas tree.
Did we tromp through the Alaskan wilderness, singing Christmas carols and drinking hot chocolate as we searched for the perfect holiday symbol? Not hardly. We opened the box.
There. I admit it to the world. We own an artificial tree. Bought on sale at the local big box hardware store. "7-Foot Fraiser Fir" the display said. It had to be better than our tree last year, one that we pilfered from somewhere we shouldn't have, one that even Charlie Brown wouldn't have given a second look. It was a desperate attempt to keep alive the family tradition of cutting down our Christmas tree, something I had done my entire life. Buying a tree was unthinkable to begin with; buying an artificial tree is grounds for public flogging.
So I took out our 7-foot Treeus Fakus, put the three sections together, fluffed up the needles in one of the three suggested patterns (the Claw, the Flat, or the Poofy), and stood back to check out my handiwork. "Hey guys, come look, it's not too bad!" Wolf was the first to come out from his cave where he had been tuning me out all afternoon. "That tree is fake!" he screeched. "I'm telling Grandpa." I must inform readers who are not acquainted with my family that my father is a forester, the one who instilled in his children the love of the tree, for whatever reason it is used. This was not good.
Yukon was on my side. "Looks good, better than I expected" he says. "How much did that cost us?" Better to tell him that most of the other trees were over $250...
Bear woke up from his nap and danced in place as he yelled "Did you put up that pretty Christmas tree while I was asleep!?" Ahhh, someone who truly appreciates my effort to preserve the tree that won't have to be cut and shipped 1,000 miles to Alaska, the land of trees to be in my home. See, in Alaska, the fir and spruce and pine trees are rather stunted and spindly, due to the harsh weather conditions. Everyone in the greater Anchorage area, and north, has to buy a tree, either real or fake.
The only thing is, as I was packing the box away, I noticed one important detail.
"MADE IN CHINA".......

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