Yes, I feel like a traitor. I have turned my back on something that I have believed for years – and all in the name of expediency. I have betrayed the very thing I have told my children since they were born – and in fact something I have done since I was a child. I feel guilty and shameful – but so many others are doing it and in this case, I don’t feel so bad about going along with the crowd. It isn’t like I’m jumping off a cliff with all my friends (Who hasn’t heard this from their mother – “So, if all of your friends jump off a cliff – are you going to do it too?”). It seems so insignificant and yet to others it is the only thing they have ever known – so it can’t be bad – right? And yet, I feel I have to justify my decision to everyone I meet – and even those I don’t know – hence this post.
What could possibly cause these feelings of angst, sorrow, guilt and yet, also relief, excitement and joy? It isn’t anything as momentous as deciding to move South for the winter (although that decision will come soon enough) or not to bake so many Christmas cookies (I’m pretty sure my children would disown me for that one) or even to get a cat instead of a dog (my children would be taking me straight to a psychiatrist) – but it is something that has been near and dear to my heart. It has involved many family outings – both when I was a child and with my own children. Many fond memories – and afterwards, lots of not-so-fond memories.
Yes – I have finally decided that the time has come to … I can hardly believe I am saying this … it is time to get an ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE. There I have said it – my treason is complete. After all of these years of making sure we had the ‘right’ real tree – even if it meant visiting four or five different tree stands – I have decided that I just can’t do it any longer. I’m tired of waiting until the middle of December – although I know lots of people put real ones up much earlier – I have this fear of bursting into flames one night because of my dry tree. I’m tired of making sure that the carpet (and this year, my new wood floors) are protected so no sap or water spills out of the tree onto the floor to ruin it. I’m tired of vacuuming up needles at least four times a day – no matter how fresh that darn tree is, it sheds like a cat! I’m tired of having to drag it out of the house – over my floors to leave a trail of debris at the end of the season. I love real trees – but I am tired of the mess and the fuss it takes to have a real tree.
I’m looking forward to being able to put my tree up earlier – so my family can help me decorate when they are all in town – even if that is at Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to a clean floor – except for the wrapping paper on Christmas morning. I’m looking forward to not having to pull pine needles out of my socks or even my foot after walking by the tree. I’m looking forward to not having to spend anywhere from $50-75 every year for a tree that will have to be taken to the chipper in January. I’m looking forward to something that is a lot less annoying and just as beautiful – sort of like snow on a weekend when you don’t have to go anywhere.
So – although I feel like a traitor and I have betrayed my evergreens – I know that everyone in my family always appreciate it when I take one more stressor out of my life – because they also like me to be a lot less annoying and just as beautiful.