We will put up our Christmas tree this weekend. It was bought early in the season, had the bottom of the trunk cut off, placed it quickly in a bucket of water and stored in a sheltered spot just waiting for this weekend event.
Since my childhood, picking out a cut Christmas tree has been an important family affair. Trees must undergo much scrutiny by family members of all ages. We always arrive early on our favorite tree lot, usually on the very day the trees arrive and we spread out to check for crooked trunks, ‘holes’ in the branches, a split trunk, the perfect tip at the top, freshness, height, width, and needle length. It’s an annual process that we take seriously. Every opinion is heard and weighed, but, of course, as the Decorating Chairman, my vote might hold a bit more weight than others.
There is controversy and debate over which is the ‘greener’ option, an artificial or a cut tree. From a distance, today’s artificial trees are amazingly real looking and last for years. But to manufacture an artificial tree, pollutants are released, and these trees, made overseas, are not biodegradable. As real Christmas trees grow, they absorb CO2 and they are recyclable. Post holiday, we take our trees deep into our woods where they become part of a living brush pile, a winter haven for birds and other small animals. However, factoring in the impact of mass transportation of trees and possible chemicals used in the management of tree farms must be considered. What tree you select for your Christmas is a very personal decision.
Although we’ve planted our share of live Christmas trees and cut our own from tree farms, a cut fresh tree from a trusted local business now works for us, a perfect tree that we will garnish with ornaments either handmade or selected by our family and friends, ornaments that awaken cherished family memories of Christmases past and new baubles that will make memories for the future. Our family loves to share their individual decorating techniques and talents with one another. The journey to each of our homes has already begun through long-distance photo albums online or actual visits to each home where an OMG Christmas tree is the focal point of the trimmings. I am ready at last to embrace the spirit of the holiday!
Remember when buying a cut tree:
- buy early
- choose a tree with green needles
- avoid drooping branches, brown or falling needles
- Check for straight trunks
- Avoid trees with split trunks
- cut off a couple of inches of the trunk
- place in water
- store in a sheltered spot away from freezing and thawing
- never allow your tree to be without water!