Confessions Of A Christmas Turncoat

Every Christmas of every single year of my life I’ve had a real Christmas tree. This year is different. This year I’ve changed my tune. This year I’m going rogue. This year we’re getting a fake tree.

Now, in the past, it’s quite possible I’ve had some harsh things to say about people that have fake Christmas trees. I may have referred to them as Christmas grinches who have no souls and probably a few bodies buried in their basements. That might have been a tad harsh, just a smidge abrasive. But I’m more than willing to admit when I’m wrong and, folks, I am wrong. Fake trees are the shit.

You may wonder how I became such a Christmas turncoat. That’s easy to explain, I’m tired. Sick and tired, as a matter of fact, of the damn stairs. We live in a third floor apartment and every day, no matter the weather, no matter how many bags of groceries I have, no matter how willing my leg is to cooperate with me it’s always three flights down, three flights up. Every. Damn. Day. Sometimes multiple times a day.

It makes me want to cut corners on every aspect of my life. Working out? Eh, I don’t need to. I got the mail today. Dinner? Heat up some leftovers. I had to get my charger out of the car earlier. Cleaning the house? Well, I don’t really have an excuse for not doing that. That’s really just because I’m lazy.

Knowing that no one in the house would be on board with my holiday defection, I began lobbying for the fake tree before Thanksgiving. Ya know, we could just get a fake tree this year. The lights are already on it. No pine needles to sweep up. No pine scented cat puke to clean. It’s really not such a bad idea. Did you know that a live Christmas tree can have up to 25,000 bugs living in it?

Obviously this was not going to be an easy task and the husband and son would not desert the real tree club without a fight. Ugh, a fake tree? What are you talking about? What about the real tree smell? Fake trees are so fake and plastic and why would anyone want a fake tree? Luckily for me, my husband is also tired (mostly because he’s married to me, but also because of the stairs) and eventually gave up the fight.

After scouring two home improvement stores for a Black Friday deal, the husband came home with a big ass box and a scowl on his face (mostly from being married to me, but also because of the stairs). Victory is mine. There is no turning back now. We are officially a fake Christmas tree family.

In an effort to make this fake tree pill easier for my son to swallow I opted to use one of our homeschool days to decorate the classroom, which of course is the living room. I figured he’d be a whole lot happier with this tree if putting it up meant he didn’t have to do math for a day. I was right and he was mostly a good sport about things.


Now that’s a box full of tree, aint’ it?

Ugh. What is that? It looks terrible. It smells like chemicals. Is that the tree? 

Yep, son. That’s the tree.

This is awful. I’m not going to like this. Why is it all flat? 

It’ll be great. We’ll take it out of the box and fluff it up a bit and it will look just like a real tree.

It smells like tires. Can we do math instead?

After a few minutes of cajoling and forced excitement I finally got him to think that maybe a fake tree might not be the end of his short life. I sent him off to dig through the box of ornaments while I pieced the whole thing together.

It looks awful. 

Yeah, it does, but it’s okay. I just have to floof the branches a little more.

Floof isn’t a word. 

Eh, we’re homeschoolers. We can make up words.

I don’t think that’s how homeschool works. 

Look, just let me floof it some more and then we can get the ornaments on and it’s going to be just as good as a real tree.

It still smells like tires. 

So, I floofed and fluffed and straightened bent branches and bent straight branches for over a damn hour before it finally resembled a treelike structure.

I can see through it. 


I can see through it. Like, when I look through the tree I can see the other side of the living room. 

That’s okay. I can just floof it some more and once the ornaments are on you won’t be able to tell it has hollow spots.

It still smells like tires. 

And I floofed until my hands were raw and cut up by fake plastic pine needles until you couldn’t see the entire living room when you looked through it and finally he was happy.

Eh, it’s alright. I guess it’s not so bad. 

Well, happyish. Then, we put on all the ornaments and oohed and aahed over all the great memories each one brought. When it was all said and done, he wasn’t completely miserable about my decision to rebel against Christmas and I considered that a victory. I shoved the big ass box in a closet, hit play on the soundtrack to Charlie Brown Christmas, lit a pine scented candle, and waited for the husband to come home.

Hey, it’s not that bad. 

That’s right! It’s not that bad at all. Welcome to the dark side, motherfucker. Plus, it’s got a damn remote control. Real trees don’t have fucking remote controls. Merry Christmas to me. img_7751