Ah, the Yuletide season, when we sit by the Yule Log, we sing Yule Songs, and we watch Yul Brynner films. What could be better than the twinkling of strung lights and the cooking of seven fishes and the inevitable Xmas hangover?
Of course, a key part of this all is the tree. Now, Xmas trees have changed a lot over the years, from the natural trees brought inside and decorated with real (and quite dangerous!) candles, to the aluminum silver colored trees of the Eisenhower era, to new fangled contraptions like "upside down" trees that hang from the ceiling (bonus for these--less floor space taken up, decorations easier to see, and more room for presents!). My own fambly used to always use natural trees, and over the years the number of homemade ornaments increased until the damn thing looked like a garbage can was emptied on it. Then, one year my dad thought he'd be clever and buy a realistic-looking fake tree, to save us from the trek up to Dutchess County and having to pick out and cut and haul a tree back home with the inevitable cries of "can't we stop at that diner to eat?" He even went and bought fancy ornaments to class the tree up--only white lights, and everything silver. The sort of tree you might see in a corporation's lobby.
Of course, a few snide remarks from the kids and ole dad had to go and pick out a real tree as well, so each year we became a fambly of two trees--one fake but nice looking one, and one real tree covered with our homemade tacky ornaments. The number of presents though, did not increase.
In our current apartment we have a red aluminum tree, which I insisted on keeping up after the holidays last year and as a result it has remained up the whole year. This meant not having to go through the trouble of taking it down and putting it back up again, so in a way you could say I beat the system.
When I have kids, though, my plan is to draw a big picture of a tree and put it up on the wall in the den. I can even draw in little presents below the tree, and tell the kids that if they're not good then I can easily erase the presents.
Yes, I do plan on saving up for my own retirement home....