Share this article

print logo

Even artificial trees can be a real hassle

Kerplunk! "Was that the Christmas tree?" I shouted to my husband. Sure enough, there was the fully decorated pine, sprawled out on the living room floor, now missing a few fragile ornaments. I resurrected the tree by attaching fishing line to a window latch.

Over the years, as my living space grew from apartments to homes, I supersized my "Charlie Brown" specials. But feeling guilty about the ruination of nature and the senseless destruction of perfectly healthy trees, I decided on a new adventure.

I purchased a potted tree encased in burlap and placed it in a huge tub, watering it faithfully. What I didn't realize was that the trunk and roots were still frozen and when I added water, "the great thaw" occurred, leaving my carpet drenched in mud and tree juice.

To prevent duplication of past catastrophes, I'm thinking -- forget "au naturel," I'll go "au artificial." We put up the 6-footer without a hitch. Then came the lights -- or should I say the blinkin' lights. I couldn't for the life of me get a string of lights to work. The top and bottom stayed illuminated but the middle remained dark.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of electricity is limited to the fact that when one flicks a switch, current is achieved. But I do recall my parents' laws of physics, which were: Don't get near downed power lines, don't drop your hair dryer in water and don't stick your tongue into an electric outlet. Understanding the dynamics remains a mystery. All I know is that you could die.

Trees come with an array of lights from blinking to flashing to prelit to, my specialty, the no-lit type. I asked myself: Why is there such an abundance of lights displayed at every checkout counter? To my dismay, it's because they fail, burn out and break on a routine schedule.

After Christmas, the unveiling of lights takes place. Tired from a very hectic and festive weekend, one gently places them all coiled up and tangled back into any handy receptacle.

Once the tree is naked again it comes down -- but wait, it no longer fits in its original package as promised by the salesman.

So it's either find another box around the house or buy a container that costs one-third the price of the tree. Actually, I'm considering another option, crude but practical. I could purchase my coffin ahead of schedule. What better place to store my tree than a pine box made out of discarded Christmas trees?

Once the tree is finally secured, transporting it back down to the basement is another dreaded event. I have an elevated slab of concrete called a crawl space for storage. I hate crawl spaces. The word alone sounds ugly. It reminds me of tiny insects with lots of feet dangling upside down and sideways, which is exactly the position I have to assume to get to that cramped spot.

After reflecting upon the tree dilemma, I have come up with suggestions, which I hope someone will start working on right away. How about a device that will project the vision of a Christmas tree on my family room wall, complete with software that allows me to personalize ornaments? There would be no watering, no tampering with wired lights and, best of all, no need for a prepaid coffin. Now I can rest in peace.

There are no comments - be the first to comment