My daughter puts her tree up before Thanksgiving, yes, you read that correctly, before Thanksgiving. She loves Christmas and has an 8ft, prelit, artificial tree that is simply stunning. She decorates it with an eclectic mix of ornaments from her childhood, ones she added as an adult and others she and her husband have bought together, topped off by a gorgeous golden star. I waited for tree envy to set it, but there was never a quiver.
I have friends who choose not to have trees of their own for various reasons. Some enjoy the trees at their children's or grandchildren's houses, some have trees at their offices, and one just plain doesn't like decorated trees. Does that make their Christmas celebrations any less meaningful or fun or cheerful? No, it does not. Not having a tree doesn't make you Scrooge or the Grinch. In fact, not having a tree can be surprisingly liberating.
Here in no particular order are some benefits to not having a Christmas tree.
- No chasing your cat out of or your dog out from under the tree. I have no idea why, but every year my dog thinks I have put up a tree solely so that he will have a nice place to nap. And speaking of dogs:
- No panicked dash when you see him eyeing the tree and starting to lift his leg.
- No dead needles in your carpet, your slippers, your food!
- No leaping out of bed in the middle of the night to see what that crash was, only to discover your tree has fallen over because it was too heavy to turn around and you ended up putting ornaments only on the parts you could reach and none on the back which leads to:
- No trying to anchor it to the wall with dental floss and a thumbtack.
- No having to remember to add water, and no spilling water when you do remember.
- No frozen trek thru the woods looking for the prefect tree...ok, that part I do miss.
- No trying to get the tree home only to discover you don't have any twine to tie it to the roof of your car.
- No picking out the perfect tree only to be amazed that a 9 foot tree doesn't fit into your house.
- No sap on your hands.
- No feeling awful because your friend is horribly allergic to pine and spends the evening sneezing.
- No frustrating search thru 10 strings of lights trying to find the one bulb that is burned out and therefore causing your entire tree to go dark.
- If you have an artificial tree, no sore fingers from straightening out bent branches (how do they tie themselves up in knots?) and then trying to cram the metal rods into the obviously smaller notches.
- No panicking when you don't have anything suitable for the top of the tree because you stepped on it last year and forgot to replace it and you end up at Target at midnight sorting thru neon colored angels and multicolored stars because you can't sleep if the tree isn't completely finished.
I had a wonderful Christmas season this year and hope you did, too. With or without a tree.