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Modern Christmas Traditions

Jul 14, 2008
I absolutely adore Christmas! Like a lot of folks, it's my favorite time of the year. Christmas in July is a reality for me because that's when I start planning the Christmas cards I'll make for that year and decide if I'd like to alter my decorating scheme in any way.

When my husband and I first got married, we would go to the Christmas tree farms the week following Thanksgiving to look for our perfect tree. We would sing along to a John Denver Christmas tape I played as we made our way up the hill. The album had become a Christmas tradition for us even though my husband really disliked one of the tracks on it: "Daddy, Please Don't Get Drunk This Christmas." We'd travel all over the place trying to find the perfect Christmas tree. By the late afternoon I'd be cold and cranky and ready to cut down the next tree we found, no matter what it looked like.

When we finally arrived home with the tree, the process of getting it up and in place began. For many years we had to wire the tree to the wall to keep it stable. This also prevented the cat from knocking it over. We tried our best to keep it watered, but by January needles still fell all over the carpet. One year we involuntarily became hosts for a large bug family that came along for the ride. It was really disgusting! As the years went by, the post holiday cleanup seemed to become more laborious and time consuming.

At last, we got smart and bought an artificial tree. I thought I wouldn't be as satisfied with an artificial tree as I was with a "real" one, but what a shock I was in for. I loved it! The tree limbs swing into place on hinges with all of the lights already in place. Set-up is a piece of cake, and we can start putting the decorations on in no time. Post holiday clean up has become a breeze without the pine needles to clean out of the carpet when the tree is taken down in January. Plus, our house isn't a host to any creepy insects.

Past years became known as our "annual Christmas tree fights." Sometimes I really miss that old tradition. But we have gone from old ways to new traditions. The sound of Christmas carols and the smell of fresh-baked cookies (made from dough I make and freeze beforehand) are an integral part of setting up our Christmas tree now. A kettle of hot spiced cider on the stove spreads the aroma of Christmas throughout the house as we decorate the tree. I lost my John Denver cassette a long time ago, but that's alright. We have a new tradition which does not need it anymore.

In addition to our beautiful new tree, we now have a matching wreath on our front door and pre-lit garland for the fireplace mantle. Placing some pine scented air fresheners around the house gives the good features of a live tree without the bad parts of a live tree.

New holiday traditions will grow up around the artificial tree. Seasons Greetings!
About the Author
When it comes to Christmas trees, Marlia Brightston has loved them all. From live trees to artifical Christmas trees, Marlia has used them all. Her favorites are LED Christmas trees. They work great for both her classroom and for her home, fitting into almost any location.
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