As a kid, we always had a real Christmas tree. As an adult, I don’t. There are many practical reasons to avoid a real evergreen, but of course it isn’t the same. Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate my little faux tree.
Scotch Pine – The Ultimate Christmas Tree
Going to pick out the tree always felt like the start of Christmas to me. We often went as a family, and although we didn’t cut our own, we could spend an hour or more in the tree lot finding the perfect one.
My dad would spin each tree around so we could see all sides and look for holes or other imperfections. We always, without fail, chose a Scotch pine. I know other people like firs, but I love the fullness of a Scotch pine. I learned later that it may have been a strategic choice on the part of my parents, as this tree tends to hold its needles longer.
My Mini, Fake Scotch Pine
There are several reasons that, as an adult, I don’t carry on the tradition of getting a real tree. Mainly these are practical: it’s a big chore to go out and get one, and real trees are messy. Another important reason is that I have cats.
This is why I have a small fake tree. They can knock it down””and they do, more than once per season””without making a mess or breaking anything.
My small Scotch pine replica goes up in early December””I’m a big believer in no Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It gets one string of multicolored lights, never just white lights, as that is boring.
I decorate the tree with ornaments passed down from my family and gift ornaments. There’s only enough room for the ornaments that have special meaning. The breakable ones don’t go on the bottom, because cats.
Getting the Real Pine Smell
What I really miss about a real tree is the outdoorsy, piney fragrance. I have tried using some real garlands, which can provide the smell but also gives the cats something new to destroy.
I have settled on a few pine-scented candles, lit at strategic times, to provide the aroma that really defines the season for me. I may not have a real tree, but I have a cleaner house, safe cats, and holiday cheer.