Urban Garden Denver Blog

Real or Artificial?

We are a real tree family. No question about that. Our longest-lived family tradition is going to the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree. Sure it is inefficient in many ways. The outing takes up a whole day on a weekend in the busy month of December, but that’s not the point. We enjoy the tradition, so we keep it going. Last Sunday loaded up the van with warm clothes, a great lunch, a thermos, a saw and some ropes to embark on the outing with another family. We have been cutting a Christmas tree with this particular family for 17 years. Their son has grown from infancy to high school, and added two siblings over the years. We have gone from school age kids to empty nest. This year was a bonus as our 24-year-old was home and joined us for the day.

Cutting our own tree in the mountains is definitely about the outing and the tradition, not about a perfect tree. These trees grow in the wild and are not groomed for the Christmas tree lots. But for the $10 forest service permit, we get a tree that is a focal point and conversation item during the holiday season. And it smells like a tree.

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, only 23% of US households buy a real Christmas tree, down from 40% in 1991. I’m fine with being a Christmas minority.

I know some day, I will age out of the ability to make the trip to the mountains to get a tree. I remember the year my mother-in-law stopped putting up a Christmas tree. But for now I enjoy the trip and also the family history represented in the tree – both from the outing and the years of ornaments unique to our family.

Ornaments from our parents' early years of marriage, kewpie doll couple from 1930's and red ornament from 1950's

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  1. * Scott Mayes says:

    Traditions are good. We are real tree folks, too. Ours is from a local lot, but is fresh and smells real. We look forward to a great family time this season.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago

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