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Pining For Real Tree At Christmas

December 15, 2013
By MIKE MYER , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

We fell in love at first sight. My wife and I agreed we simply had to have the small, artificial pine tree we saw at a store recently. So we bought it, and we're really glad we did.

It looks so real.

Believe it or not, it took a politician to remind me how crazy it is that millions of Americans, yours truly included, settle for artificial Christmas trees when we could (nearly) as easily have the real thing.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is suggesting that West Virginians patronize the Christmas tree farms scattered around the state.

If that isn't practical, there are tons of places selling already-cut pine trees.

Now, I'll admit the primary reason I gave up on real trees for Christmas is that, well, they can be a bother. First, you have to select a nice one and get it home, often on the roof of your car.

Then you have to cut the bottom of the trunk off and somehow make it fit in a tree stand. Never mind the fact that the tree stand capable of keeping most Christmas trees from falling over hasn't been invented yet.

Then there's the regular replenishment of water to keep the tree's needles from falling off. They do, anyway, and that's a pain.

Finally, after Christmas, you have to find some way of disposing of the tree.

Far better, many folks have decided, to spend a few bucks on a nice artificial tree that can be set up easily, won't fall over, has lights pre-installed, never loses its needles - and can be put back in the box within a few minutes.

Heck, you can even buy little sticks that release the scent of real pine, and hang them on your plastic tree.

What more could anyone want?

But it's just not the same, as Tomblin reminds us.

One of my fondest memories is taking my daughters, when they were little, to select a Christmas tree on a farm in Wetzel County. We cut it down, tied it in the car trunk, and took it home.

It smelled like a Christmas tree, felt like a Christmas tree, had bare spots like a Christmas tree, and shed its needles like a Christmas tree. It even looked like a Christmas tree.

Yes, it was a chore.

But it was beautiful.

And you know what? The kids loved it, in part because they helped pick it out and get it home.

Tomblin may well have restored my faith in politicians. He's right about Christmas trees.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

 
 

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