On the first Friday of December, we used to dig our musty smelling artificial tree out of the basement to decorate. This was always the tradition until I was in 6th grade, when my parents decided to get a live tree. One night, we drove to Menards, picked out a tree, and tossed it into the trunk of the van. As my sister and I argued on the way home, my mom turned on the van’s dome lights so we could see her serious face telling us to stop fighting. As soon as she saw my face in the mirror, she immediately pulled over, opened the trunk of the van, and threw the tree in the ditch. I had been complaining about my allergies bothering me, but as a kid, I don’t remember there ever being a time when my allergies weren’t bothering me. Without being able to see my face, I knew from my mom’s reaction, that all the itchiness and puffiness I had been feeling was confirmation of an allergic reaction to the pine tree. It took my face a month to get back to its normal size and texture. The hives nearly emotionally scarred my pubescent self, and my family used this opportunity to invest in a more life-like artificial tree.
Once I started celebrating the holidays in a house of my own, I decided to make a new tree every year (see them all here). After the first couple years, my husband welded an armature that would serve as a base. This year I bedazzled some felt for the tree’s cover and spruced it up with some multi-colored lights. While I never know quite what to do with all the ornaments that are gifted to me, I love the challenge of coming up with a new tree every year. I also love being able to tag along with my in-laws on their annual outing to pick out a fresh smelling, allergy-inducing, good old-fashioned live Christmas tree.