7. (The one with the trees)

I read a story today about real trees vs. fake trees.

That got me thinking. I have always been a "fake tree" guy. I never really knew why since I grew up with real Christmas trees. Was it because I was afraid a real tree would dry out and burn down the house? Was it because I didn't want the dog drinking the tree water?

Luckily, thanks to photographs, I was finally able to remember - the real trees were incredibly frustrating. There was constant worry ("Did I leave the lights on? "Is the house going to burn down?" "Are we all allergic to the tree? "Will it come alive in the middle of the night and kill us?"). We never got that tree out of the house without breaking something - a lamp one year - a ceiling fan another year. And then, there was the guilt of throwing away a tree. That guilt started on Christmas afternoon. It had served it's purpose. It had to go in the trash.
Well, I started taking a lot of pictures in the mid 80's - My mother has pictures going back to 1973 and but I can't get them out of her - Overprotective Picture Phobia. So, enjoy this trip down tree memory lane.

This one is from 1985. It's pretty full - somewhat lopsided. The ornaments seem a bit lost in all that.

1988 - my first fake tree - starting a tradition of 20 years of personal fake trees. I got this at Walgreens and it actually dry rotted out over the course of one year in the late '90's. I opened the box to find all of the fake needles had fallen off. It was quite tragic. I still have the little wooden handpainted ornaments that came with it.

Our real tree in 1988. Notice that odd branch sticking straight up out of the top -begging for a star or a bow.

1991 - same poor branch, same missing star.

1992 - this one looked more like we had cut down a hedge in the neighbors yard.

1993 - wow. That looks horrifying. It's almost like we stood across the room and threw ornaments at it.

This year, there are fake trees all over the house...

The bedroom / home office...

Sara's room

Lindsay's room

And, the main tree - purchased at Lowes last year. It replaced our 5 year old KMART special that ended up being donated to my wife's work.

Long live fake trees!