The Death of a Christmas Tradition

My family is a family of many traditions. Traditions that my mother and my father put in place in order to create a deep rooted sense of family, security and lasting memories.

As of yesterday, tradition is dead in my family. Officially DOA when I walked in the door last night from a long and un-eventful day at work.

For as long as I can remember, we have always bought a real christmas tree for christmas. And not just any live christmas tree, mind you. A lush, gorgeously scented Frasier Fir christmas tree. Each year after thanksgiving, my family would pile into the minivan or SUV and drive to one of two primo christmas tree lots to pick out our tree for the year. We would often stand out in the freezing cold (with the exception of one wacked out year when it was actually around 70 degrees - and unicorns were dancing through the backyard whilst singing show tunes from 'The Wizard of Oz') and walk through row upon row of deeply scented christmas trees in order to find just the perfect one. Not too fat and not too skinny. Certainly not too sparse or too short. It must be the right height for our living room. It was acceptable however to buy one with a nasty patch, as long as it could be hidden discreetly in the corner.

My mother and I would then walk up to look at the wreaths and pay for the tree while my dad and brothers made sure the tree was packaged up and trimmed to our specifications. It would then be tied to the roof of the car and driven home where it would sit in a bucket of water for a day or two to ensure no needles were lost in the process. Of course being a family of five with many opinionated and stubborn individuals, there were a select few years when I remember tensions were running high, and I especially remember the year that my mother told my father he didn't know his arse from a hole in the ground.

Funniest. Phrase. EVER.

When decorating day would arrive, my mom would be sure to set up a mini family party complete with egg nog (of the non-spiked variety) cookies and other treats. She would then turn on the christmas CD and we would all decorate the tree from our boxes of ornaments. It was great to see the 'Baby's 1st Christmas' ornaments from both 1980 and 1981 for myself. You see, I was born at the butt end of December 1980 and my parents had been CERTAIN I would be born before christmas that year. I however had different plans and celebrated my first christmas 5 days shy of my first birthday. How many of you can say THAT?

As we grew older, we grew less and less enthused about tree decorating. By the last couple of years my mom would have to guilt trip us into decorating the tree, or even make it a mandatory chore for my brothers and I. We would then balk at this and my mom would get mad and then someone would begrudgingly decorate the stupid tree. And then complain of how they were missing "The Office" or some silly crap like that.

So I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised when I came home from work late last night to find an intruder sitting in a box on the family room floor.

An artificial, pre-lit, 7ft tall FAKE AS FAKE CAN BE Frasier Fir tree.

As soon as I saw it I looked accusingly at my dad and said "Christmas is dead. You both have just killed it."

My mom then went on to say that it is our turn (us kids that is) to be buying the christmas trees for our own homes and that she wants grandkids. Like, today. Or else. Because she isn't getting any younger. And my ovaries are going to fall out soon, so "Carrie Anne you had better use those suckers to the best of your ability".

I'm beginning to see that maybe this whole fake christmas tree thing was just a sick ruse to get one of us to use our God given talents to produce grandkids.

Maybe christmas isn't dead after all, but just in a vegetative state for the time being.


  1. Word!

    My mother is also fairly hot on the idea of grandchildren. Although she hasn't resorted to buying a fake tree. My husband and I had practically the first argument of our marriage over Christmas trees, though. I grew up in a Real household, he in a Fake. He also does not like buying items you will have to throw away.

    We ended up with a real tree in a pot, which survived to the next year. Unfortunately, it brought in a bunch of little insects with it which spread honeydew everywhere, and it also didn't like the central heating and almost died (it's recovered now). I think this year we will be putting lights on the real tree but leaving it outdoors, and maybe, yeah, buying a fake tree for inside.

  2. Oh, hey! My parents didn't actually buy an ornament too early for me, but they did think I would be there for Christmas 1979, when I didn't actually show up until 6 days later! :) So, 1980 ended up being the first one for me!

    So sorry about the fake tree killing Christmas for you! We used to go to a tree farm to cut ours down every year, which I loved, but because my asthma was so bad we could only have it inside for two days max. We changed to fake trees way back when b/c of it, and it isn't really sooo bad once you get used to it :)

    I also wanted to say thanks for visiting my blog!


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