Ok, not really. But a thought had occurred to me. Having grown up with a mish-mosh of holiday celebrations around this time of year, when November rolls around I do tend to start thinking about how to balance my husband's discomfort with decorating the house for the holidays with my children's deep desire to do so. It's not that he's a scrooge - it's just that he was raised in an observant Jewish household wherein Christmas was just another day. I was raised by atheists who embraced the spirit of the holiday, if not the religious messages that are supposed to go along with it. My father's family always has a giant, decorated Christmas tree, stockings on the mantle, etc. My mother and stepfather ran a school that we all attended, and every year "Santa" would come to the school for the holiday party to give out presents and sing holiday songs with us. I'm pretty sure that my nuclear family (Mom, Stepdad, sibs) exchanged gifts on Chanukah, vs. Christmas - but I faithfully traveled to see my father and his family every Christmas. And every Christmas eve, my small home town would welcome "Santa" on a different mode of transport to the village green (horse, fire truck, space ship, etc) - where he would disburse stockings filled with fruit and candy to all of the children who awaited his arrival. It is still an event that the kids and I look forward to each year.
The year after I graduated college, my best friend and moved to Vail, Colorado for the year. It was a stupendous experience in many ways. We were living in crappy Vail Employee Housing, selling lift tickets and such, working in restaurants, skiing on our days off, etc. It was super fun and one of the most beautiful parts of the world in which I've ever had the pleasure to spend time. Just in time for Christmas that year, some friends and I went 4-wheeling into the woods to chop down a pine tree (if memory serves, this was actually legal. I think we paid a small fee to do this and were sent to some specific wooded area to find our Christmas tree). It was such a wintry, snowy, Colorado adventure! However, I now live with a staunch environmentalist, so even if Christmas were a holiday that we celebrated as a family, I'm sure I'd have to come up with a green alternative to chopping down a tree every year. We make do with a string or two of blue and white Chanukah lights on the mantle as it is -- but this has got me thinking!
Back when I was a kid it was certainly frowned upon to have a fake tree vs. a real tree. I guess it seemed tacky to me at the time. Here in Northampton, a friend of mine who is a fantastic craftsperson and graphic designer hauls out a sparkly white reusable Christmas tree every year - and decorates it tastefully and beautifully. No mess, no hassle of hauling a big tree home, and no concern over how to dispose of it after the fact. It turns out, there are many interesting and beautiful alternatives available out there, thanks to sites like Etsy - and to the internet in general. Feast your eyes:
This is only a small sampling of the many interesting options available out there in cyberspace. Ok, so they aren't green and they don't have that lovely pine needle smell -- but you have to admit they are cool looking!
Happy tree shopping and decorating everybody!