About Dead Trees....

Among the many aspects of Christmas Lindsay and I don't see eye to eye on is what decorations belong on a Christmas tree.  She seems to think that Christmas trees should look the way they did from her childhood, while I, being far more open and objective, hold that decorations should mirror the look of Christmases from my childhood.

The real crux of the issue comes down to the lights.  She's a fan of a traditional assortment of multicolored lights, while I'd rather a tree have nothing but blue lights.  At present, our debates are mainly theoretical: we don't have space for a tree in our Queens apartment, so the issue is largely rendered moot for the time being.

Growing up, most my family's trees were trimmed in this style.  We had a good sized place in Maine, with a dining room who's primary purpose was to house the tree (it went largely unused the rest of the year - more often than not, we ate in front of the television in the living room, like any well-adjusted family).

Most years we'd pick up the tree late.  I remember once we waited until Christmas Eve, and the salesman, surprised to see anyone still shopping that late, gave us the tree free of charge.

Blue lights give the tree a uniform look, complementing the natural color of the needles.  My father insisted that it echoed the appearance of seeing stars through the branches of a tree in the woods, and I've always kind of bought into that.

Not being religious, my parents skipped the traditional tree toppers - no angels, stars, or anything of the sort.  Instead, we had a bird ornament that always wound up at the top.

I do want to add that I have nothing against trees decked out with all the lights of the rainbow.  Actually, there are a lot of Christmas trees I like.  Well decorated, these can feel like a toy or a candy factory; certainly an enduring image of the holidays.  Even over done, they elicit that gaudy, absurd feeling that's fun in itself.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are Victorian trees, with neat white lights and gold decorations.  I like these, too, though I find them lacking in warmth.

While I like most trees, I can't get over my love for the decorations I grew up with.  Too many good memories of sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to sit and stare at the lit Christmas tree, I guess.