Real or Fake?

December 5, 2011

When I was a girl, the week before Christmas we would always go out and buy our tree.  Then my dad would get into the stand, carry it into our basement where he would put the lights on it before the rest of us trimmed it.  It’s how we always celebrated his birthday.  I have fond memories of my dad muttering under his breath as he attempted to detangle the mess of Christmas lights, with a cigarette dangling in his hand.  He would generally pause long enough to ask me to get him another cup of coffee.

Christmas isn’t the same to me without a real tree.  Somehow, I’m the only one in my family that still has one.  Everyone else has a fake tree.  I’ve been told it’s because of the needles, which is true if you buy your tree from a lot.  Those trees were cut down in August and spray painted green.   I love the smell of a freshly cut tree.

The day after Thanksgiving we go to a farm by the house, the same place we pick blueberries, and chop our tree down.   My husband and I tease each other about the size, we can’t go to high because our ceilings are only eight feet high.  This year we were laughing so hard while we were trying to fasten it to the roof of our car, that we almost lost it.  Twice.

Once we get it home, I’m in charge of the lights.  My mother gave me my dad’s star after he passed for my first married Christmas.  It was the star that was on the tree when he was a boy and there is a light bulb that goes in the center of the star that helps fasten itself to the tree.

Meeshie loves trimming the tree.  Which is good, because once I’ve spent time wrestling with the lights, I’m not that interested in the ornaments.  Now I know why my dad always sat back and watched us do all the work.

Which do your prefer and why?


  1. Great post, Karen! I almost convinced myself that I was going to buy a fake tree this year and then I just couldn’t do it. I’d miss the smell, and the family tradition/adventure of choosing one and getting it home.

  2. Always a real tree. Always. A Fraser Fir or Balsam Fir. I put the lights on, then cook Christmas Eve dinner while the family and any guests add the ornaments. BTW, in case you’re wondering why you’re getting a comment on such an old post. I landed on your site here looking for a recipe for golabki, then got sidetracked and have remained here for the last hour or so, working my way backwards through all your posts. And copying many of your recipes into my ever expanding recipe file. We share a common palate, in many ways. I had to laugh to see that we also share an unshakeable love of real Christmas trees. – Constance in Minnesota

    • Constance
      Thank you! This is why I love blogging, finding people like you that share the same thing as I do! We’ve recently transitioned to a Fraser Fir and we love it.

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