I have decided to forgo the Christmas tree ritual this year. For the first time in my life I won’t have a sweet scented evergreen in my front room during the holidays.
I wish I could say that this decision was based on some noble attempt to save trees. As some of you know, I am a true tree lover; the mere rustle of leaves or pine branches sends shivers up my spine. I must confess, however, that this decision does not stem from my tree-hugging impulses. If it did I might go buy a plastic tree instead. Actually, I’m not sure I could bear a plastic tree, especially the kind with fake snow. Is this what real tree-huggers resort to?
Others of you know that Christmas is not my favorite time of yearâ€”the wrapping and trappings, plastic toys made in Taiwan, blinking colored lights and jingle bell rockâ€”all the cultural kitsch usually leaves me counting down the days until school starts again. Don’t get me wrong. I look forward to singing in Christmas choirs, delighting children with surprises, making fudge, and getting hugs from my Grandmother, but I must admit to a secret sympathy with the Grinch’s detest for most of the rest. Still, my decision not to put up a tree this year isn’t due to my grinchliness either.
The truth is that it seems silly to put up a tree just for me. I won’t be here for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day so it seems like a waste of time and effort. If I were throwing an extravagant Christmas party or had little children then likely I would feel different. As it is, it seems perfectly reasonable not to have a tree. On the other hand, a voice inside wonders if perhaps this lack of interest in a Christmas tree isn’t a sign of cynicism or worse, laziness. If you didn’t have children would you put up a tree? What if you lived alone? To tree or not to tree, that is the question.