Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aluminum, Artificial, or Real?

In a world where things are always changing and progress happens in the blink of an eye, there is one constant that brings most of us all together again--Christmas. The things of Christmas have changed over the years though. Take trees for instance.
Growing up, there was always a live tree for our Christmas. I don't know that artificial was even available in those early years. The bulbs were multi-colored and hot to the touch and silver tinsel a must. But along came the aluminum tree. The silvered branches changed color as a disc with four basic colors, red, purple, and yellow, rotated in front of a spot light that shone on the tree. Mom refused to have one. I'm grateful.
There was one year when she succumbed to flocking the tree. I don't know how she talked Dad into it because I seem to recall him wrinkling up his nose every time he looked at it. Maybe she sold him on the idea because it was supposed to preserve the tree longer and he hated cleaning up after a dry tree.
Of course the more popular artificial trees became, the more outrageous they got--pink and purple and white. Each year we passed on the latest fad and stayed true to the real smell, the real feel and the real mess of needles to clean up.
Mom gave in to the artificial world when the trees became a little more realistic looking and my brother and I were gone. That way she could get us to come home and put up the tree early. Mom was not above a guilt trip. "I don't think we'll have a tree this year," always brought us home to decorate.
My husband, Bob, and I started out with real trees. Our first, which was the most perfect tree I remember, stretched our budget at a cost of $5. A couple years ago we had to shop for a new tree since we lost ours in a flood. We thought we'd wait until after Christmas to shop for the artificial tree on sale and put up a real tree for that year--until we looked at the prices. A nice Christmas tree, a real one, goes for around $70 in our area. We bided our time and found an early sale on an artificial one and saved on the needle mess as well.
While we were out shopping for the tree, we saw aluminum trees trying to make a comeback and some artificial trees that were flocked. It made me think of all the changes over the years and the one thing that has remained constant: The reason for the season--Jesus.

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