When I was a kid, my "family" (such as it was... not a discussion for this blog...me, mother, sister, stepfather) always had a fake tree. The tree never bothered me... it was just a typical Christmas tree as far as I knew. But for a few years when I was little my great-grandmother had a real tree. They were always these great big cedar trees that were tied to the wall with ropes so it wouldn't fall over on anyone. I don't remember most of the details about the trees except that they were covered in tinsel... the stringy icicle kind.
After my great-grandmother passed away, my uncle and aunt (brother and sister that never moved out of their mother's home) didn't continue many years of putting up a tree. We still had the fake tree at our house, but it was never quite the same. I have had a fake tree every year that I have put up a tree since then... and it has been fine for me. Been driving me nuts every year having to fluff out the branches, but they have always looked good to me.
Over the last summer, our tree had a bit of an accident in the garage and got broken. Due to cutbacks in my family this year, we couldn't afford to replace it with a new decent tree. I didn't want to spend the money on a sub-par tree I didn't really like.
My husband hates real trees. So of course that only strengthened my resolve to get a real one.
We took a nice country drive one afternoon... with a hatchet. We drove up and down dirt roads until we found a tree I liked. When I got out to go look at the tree closer, I knew it was too big. My husband said that it would be fine... it was too big. The base branches took up about three feet from the trunk in all directions. They top branches were bent over double touching the ceiling. I had to hang the few ornaments that were on the top of the tree using the handle of the broom.
And of course, tinsel.
The tinsel makes the tree. I loved the feeling that I got when I got the tree up with the shiny tinsel and the ceder smell.
I hope that by having a real live tree, my daughter will be able to store up some of the memories that I have from when I was her age. Of course Christmas is more than the tree or the gifts under it, but it is a good place to start.
As for the photo above: I processed the photo of our tree to look vintage... like the Polaroid photos from my childhood.