Monday, December 22, 2008

rethinking aluminum christmas trees

Not really.  Maybe a chrome tree; now wouldn't that be spectacular?  

The reason I find myself actually contemplating a artificial tree is that because I need to go string the lights on our SECOND christmas tree of this year.  

We frequently buy living christmas trees in pots and then plant them afterwards.  We have probably a 30% sucess rate with the trees living beyond christmas.   One year my darling husband waited until april to plant the tree.  By april the tree was a lovely rust color and weighed next to nothing.  I suspect this was because it was dead!  But darling husband insisted it just needed water and mulch.  It sat there a long long long time just being dry and brown.   Darling husband still thinks it died because of residual weed killer in the ground.  When the weeds got taller than the tree we gave up and mulched it.  

Anyway - - - - this year the selection of living trees was very grim.  They were stunted and pricklier than normal.  So we bought the 7 foot Nobel Fir.   One of the kids asked about the name 'Nobel'  and I told them they were named after Alfred Nobel - the same guy all those gasses were named after.   

The truth about Nobel Firs according to the folks at Sparky's Christmas Trees is:   

Nobel Fir (Abies Procera)

The Nobel Fir is often called the King of the Christmas trees. With a silvery sheen and blue/green needles, it has excellent needle retention plus a lovely fragrance. It is quite a heavy tree and lots of work goes in to growing a great nobel. They are usually trimmed each year to give an even shape and are chosen for their density.

The Nobel Fir is also used in the greenery business, to make wreaths and garlands. Indeed, it is what we use primarily in our own wreath-making department.

Excuse me: Sparky's?  Who would name a Christmas tree company Sparky's???  Maybe in the United Kingdom that sort of association is not macabre - but here in the desert southwest everyone knows that real Christmas trees are one hot breath away from being the tinder needed to burn your house to the ground!  

Okay - I exaggerate slightly.  Many folks around here have cut trees every year with absolutely no problems.  We usually have the living trees but have also had several cut trees over the year.  Just keep them watered and get them out of the house by New Year and there are no problems.   

So we watered our beautiful Nobel tree regularly.  It kept drinking the water, which is usually a good sign.  Except the tree kept getting drier and drier.  To the point of being scary dry.  The needles weren't just prickly - they were crumbly.  So darling husband called up Home Depot and esplained the problem to them.  They said "bring it back and we'll replace it."  Yea Home Depot!  Of course that meant undressing the old one and now dressing the new one.  But that's better than living with a seven foot open fuel structure in the living room!  

The lights wouldn't be so difficult except that I made the mistake of watching Martha Stewart several years ago demonstrate the 'proper' way to hang lights.  It's not hanging so much as it is wrapping carefully around the entire trunk and then wrapping the individual branches.  It's ridiculously time consuming but boy howdy, it does look spectacular!

That's the true danger of Martha - she's frequently right!  If she were just a nutjob pushy homemaker with OCD we could just smile sympathetically and get on with our lives. Unfortunately she is a nutjob pushy homemaker with OCD that happens to really know the best way to do everything!  

You know - in honor of  our newer, moister tree; I think this christmas should be a little more Alfred Nobel and a little less Martha Stewart!  

(I dearly hope I remember correctly that Neon is one of the Nobels - otherwise the visual humor misses!)   




What? No PINK tree??? I must say, I'm a bit disappointed in the BREAST team here. LMAO

Linda D. in SEattle


You still alive??? And why is there nothing happening over here? Somebody go and cure breast cancer finally?