Growing up we always had a real tree. We’d go out to a local tree lot and pick the perfect one – as best as one could in the dark. I remember it was usually evening when we were out choosing our tree. I’m not sure whether that was because of the shorter winter days, the fact we went after my father was home from work, or because my memory is faulty. Once the tree was home and in its place of honour in the living room we would put on some Christmas music and help my mother decorate the tree. When we were much younger we would have created chains of popcorn or paper and there was usually a newly handmade decoration or two from school or Brownies or Beavers. Once decorated it was nice just to sit and watch the tree. Once I was old enough, that was made even better by the addition of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine!
I always thought it was somehow ‘wrong’ to have an artificial tree. Then, for one reason or another, my husband and I ended up buying a pre-lit artificial tree soon after we got married. That’s the tree that we will be putting up this year. The tree that our preschooler will help us decorate and our baby will probably try to climb. My hope is to go back to buying a real tree once they are old enough to understand the difference. Until then, our artificial tree will be beautiful instead. I have bought a new Christmas decoration every year for the preschooler and intend to do the same for the baby. Once they are grown and on their own I will pass on the complete set of ‘their’ decorations. As we decorate the tree I also try to tell them about the history of each decoration as we hang them. I hope to get them both interested in their history before they are old enough to know what’s happening!