O Christmas Tree

Growing up, we were an artificial tree family. I never really gave it too much thought.  It was all I knew. When I married, things changed. Of course they did. (Pause) This time it was actually for the better. Her family was all about real trees.  When it came time to deck our first holiday halls, I wanted the real thing. And, I’ve never gone back.

My wife’s familial go to tree was the Frasier fir.  In the beginning, it became our staple as well. But, as the years progressed, we entertained alternative varieties.  However, we always reverted back to the Frasier.  For me, it’s the quintessential Christmas tree – subtle fragrance with needles that stay ON THE TREE.  I’m usually the one who vacuums. So, it’s all about needle retention, baby.


One of my main concerns with real trees was the environmental impact.  It seemed wrong, chopping down a tree for less than a month for MY enjoyment.  Fortunately, I stand corrected.

  •  living trees generate oxygen, help fix carbon in their branches and in the soil and provide habitat for birds and animals
  • Christmas tree farms preserve farmland and green space, particularly near densely populated urban areas where pressure for development is intense.
  • a crop that’s being raised for that purpose

great symmetry, Victoria?

Since I knew very little about Christmas trees and still do, I decided to branch out –

  1. Norway spruce – great smell, bad for kids – drops dense, spikey needles quickly
  2. Nordmann Fir –  great symmetry – right behind Norway Spruce for UK favorite
  3. Blue spruce – needles have a silver-blue tinge – if you want a ‘Blue’ Christmas, of course
  4. Fraser fir – narrow base – best for tight spaces – crowd favorite stateside.
  5. Serbian spruce – lovely, slender shape ideal for corridors – the Victoria Secret model of trees
  6. Douglas fir – a statement tree that can grow very large
  7. Lodgepole pine – yellow -green needles – good retention
  8. Noble fir – good choice for heavy ornaments
  9. Scots pine – official Christmas tree of … Scotland. Where else?

All trees $25

Northern Michigan does live trees quite well, I might add.  Our first Christmas in Traverse, we took the kids to a local farm to cut down our own tree.  Working retail dictated my availability.  Consequently, when we arrived at the place, it was closed.  BUT there was a note –

All trees $25 – place the money in the drop box by the shed.  Saws are just inside the door.

Merry Christmas!

Coming from Chicago, my wife and I almost didn’t know how to respond. Welcome to Northern Michigan, eh? Luckily, we had cash. So, we put $25 in the drop box and grabbed a saw. Oh, and their note wasn’t festively colored as is mine – a little creative liberty for postal purposes.

Apologies about the duplicity, referencing yet another Charlie Brown Holiday Special. In my defense, that opening pumpkin carving scene was perfect for that post. And, I listened to countless versions of O Christmas Tree for this entry. Vince Guaraldi’s rendition really is all that. Besides, I just bought the vinyl. It’s green. Way cool!

O Tannenbaum! What IS a blogger to do?

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