Opinion: Oh, Tannenbaum, how plastic are your branches


My children are disgusted with me, specifically with my decision to erect a fake Christmas tree this year, and I’m not being dramatic. “We are not those people!” was their weekend refrain, exclaimed with abject disdain and barely concealed rage. Definitely not the holiday spirit I was going for.

Over Thanksgiving, see, I forced them to help assemble the monstrosity that I’d purchased last January at an online auction (I hadn’t planned on buying a faux fir, but at that price, I simply could not pass on the opportunity to own a reusable, non-needle-dropping, passable rendition of a 13-foot Douglas!). With the vertical addition of each of the seven plastic and metal sections and subsequent “lifting and separating” of branches, the skepticism I’d harbored about any worthy substitute for fresh-cut pine slowly diminished. By god, it actually looked like the real thing, although it is extremely tall and narrow and does indeed smell more of department store than Sherwood Forest. The kids were far less impressed.

In their defense, they’ve never known anything but a live Tannenbaum. It’s our tradition as a family. We go choose one from Ace Hardware, ridicule Doo as he struggles to secure it to the van, collectively wrestle with ceramic lights and half-broken ornaments, and then debate the pros and cons of tinsel for hours. But in the end, our collaborative effort results in a beautiful focal point we all cherish.

I’m hoping once we decorate The Imposter, as they’re now calling it, that everyone will calm the elf down. Change is scary, granted, but it’s just a Christmas tree. Albeit fake.

Peace out.