Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Fake or real?

Rich Lowry examines the pros and cons.

We (reluctantly) went fake a few years ago, mostly for economic reasons. The trees we like--noble firs--are very expensive and, given the distance we are from the source, not in terribly good shape when they get here. If we lived in the Pacific Northwest, we’d probably still have a real tree.

Once again, Merry Christmas!

Discussions - 12 Comments

Real trees are nice at other people's houses. Here's everything I have to say about that.

I agree with Julie, of course. One downside of artificial trees that people can put them up way, way before Christmas or even Thanksgiving. Technology overcomes another "natural iimit" to the Christmas season.

When I was much younger I used to feel terrific sadness for the real tree after all the presents had been opened. The tree had served its purpose, but at that point the tree was ignored. It was, to my childish eye, very sad and lonely.

Come time for its disposal, I would take the tree off into the woods and prop it against another live tree. Though I knew the Christmas tree would never again come to life, somewhere in my heart I wanted to give it some dignity as it withered and dried up.

The memory of such things was the motivating factor behind my getting a fake tree fifteen years ago ... the same tree I have now. Call it sentimental foolishness.

If the tree is in a private home then it shouldn't bother you.

I bought a 10 foot Noble for my sister this year. I was getting real tired of seeing my sister's lame picks, so I indulged in a little "self-help," and went out there and bought a REAL CHRISTMAS TREE this time around. And of course my little nephews, as soon as they laid eyes on it, were ecstatic.

I have an 8 foot ceiling, but I'll purchase a 10 foot tree, which I'll then cut down to get in the house. Such a tree has true fullness.

Naturally the thing looks exceptional. I've never picked a bad tree in my life. The way I figure it, if you're going to put up a tree, THEN PUT UP A TREE. It's akin to Napoleon's comment about war, "If you're going to take Vienna, THEN TAKE VIENNA." If you decide to celebrate the Christmas holiday, and put up decorations and a tree, then go full out.

I bought a Wii for my nephew, which I put in a beer box, inside another box, then inside a book box, which then was placed in yet another box, all of which were placed in yet still another box. Each of which was wrapped in a different colour. I figured if I stood in 15 degree weather throughout a long, frigid night, then simply wrapping that gift in paper simply wouldn't do.

Of course that type of attitude translates to a great deal of speeding tickets. When I decide to drive, then I drive.

And Peter, my tree goes up around the 17th, and I won't take it down until after the Feast of the Presentation, which is around January 20th. But I make sure that the lights I put on the tree, which are many and varied, {green, purple, gold, white, and multicolour strands of red, green and blue} don't burn hot, don't even burn warm for that matter. I make sure the light is unchanged in temp, it feels the same after hours of usage, as it did when first turned on.

But cleaning up after the tree is taken down, needless to say, becomes a real b#$@h.

And JK, the Noble I purchased for my sister came from Oregon. And I purchased it in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, right near Washington's Crossing. So it traveled across the country, and it looks fantastic. That was a 9 foot tree, which I had cut down a bit, and it cost me 85 bucks. And it was probably the lightest 9 footer weight wise, that I ever picked up. Usually I'll go with Douglas, or a Frazier, IF the Frazier looks exceptional.

Where my sister is moving to, she'll be getting multiple trees for her home, and she'll have a main tree of 15 feet.

Don in AZ is, apparently, another victim of that terribly sad Christmas story from Hans Christian Andersen--"The Little Fir Tree." I used to have an LP with all these Andersen stories that I could play on my little record player as a kid. I would play that story and the "Little Match Girl" over and over again at Christmas. Probably explains a lot . . . Recently I looked it up and read it to my kids--not remembering the haunting nature of the thing . . . My son looked at me when it was finished and yelled, "That was it?! You mean the tree dies?! That's a terrible story!" Needless to say I put that book away before I got the the match girl story.

Julie, did you ever hear of a series of LPs titled: "Let's Pretend."

And here I thought this blog was populated by true conservatives...fake trees!? Heresy! I'm not sure I'll ever look at the posts here again in the same way...

Probably mine was the real heresy this year. I proposed forgetting about the tree altogether. We do not have a large living room and were having 23 (between family, extended family and a couple of lonely friends) of us in it on Christmas morning. "Room for people is more important than room for tree!" was my position on the matter. I was overruled. We all squashed in, somehow. This became a problem when my 81 year-old mother passed out in a chair in the furthest corner of the room while holding her latest great-grandchild. The room half-emptied while we got her out and spread her on the floor of the hall. My corpsman son confidently proclaimed that she was just over-heated and the gift-giving melee continued.

I forbore the I-told-you-so's and the four square feet of room taken by tree and gift-pile may not have made all that much difference. Also, in a room this size, the furthest corner is not such a distance from the door. Yet still, while I like the smell of the pine in my house, I do not see the importance of the indoor tree as symbol. I would not bother with storing a fake tree. Keeping the Christmas gewgaws is quite enough.

As to Christmas trees and the environment, these trees, such as the one across the room from me, are farmed trees. Surely tracts of land that are dedicated to growing trees are good for the environment. We should have more, not less, to oxygenate the atmosphere. Perhaps this means to use a real tree is to be both conservative and conservationist.

Real trees invite danger due to dryness of trees, along with allergy issues and cleanup (needles especially), the way to go is fake.

Besides, being conservative, conserving of most, if not all things, wouldn't the prudent one be conserving if using fake?

Tradition aside, which is also a facet of conservatism, wouldn't prudence win out?

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