Everybody has a story: Plastic trees make for a perfect tradition

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Many families enjoy cutting their own Christmas tree. I have come to discover that such a venture for my family is seen as an ordeal. You must understand that I’m as dense as a forest, so this took years to dawn on me. We enjoy the look and smell of a fine Noble fir; it’s just that any form of choosing a tree — U-cut from the forest or farm, or even shopping the lots — seems to have been, well, grueling.

My wife and I have been married 28 years; our oldest child is 26. Our eldest and her sister, being true romantics, have always loved the charm of a fresh-cut tree — both resisting all forms of trees artificial. They even threatened to leave home should we choose that option. They left home anyway and have married.

My wife, on the other hand, has long complained about the task of selecting a fresh-cut evergreen. She began by grumbling about the rising price. Truth was, she was grousing over my obsession with perfection in the matter. Seems to me that women seldom say what they mean.

One year, we lived in Florida and were unable to find decent evergreens, so we bought an artificial tree. The family seemed happy. We returned to the Pacific Northwest and again began sacrificing living trees (and cash).

Finally, two years ago when my wife finally came clean that I was destroying her Christmas spirit with my quest for the perfect natural tree, we bought another plastic pine. She’s been much happier. Still, I have been restless, so when our church offered Nobles at the low price of $25 each — $10 of which supported a kid for Winter Camp — I raised the idea of purchasing one. She balked. I kowtowed.

I’m not entirely dense, so I will once again, gladly keep our marriage intact, erect the plastic pine, and give $20 to a kid for camp.

And that, after all, is a perfect tradition.

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