Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas tree and all that jive

I just wanted to use the word jive. I don't know when I've used that last. According to my dictionary, it comes from jibe, which comes from the Dutch gijben to shift over (a sail), to gasp for air. What do I take from this? Nothing right now (except that like me it comes from a Dutch background). But I'll store it away, and someday it might bubble up in a story and surprise me.

Anyway, I'd been meaning to write a bit about the tree we put up last week. We bought an artificial one. A younger me would have been appalled. We always bought real trees when I was growing up, and I loved the smell of a fresh tree in the house. I also worked for a couple summers as well as occasional after-school and weekend shifts trimming and loading and selling Christmas trees. Even now, while looking at my artificial tree, my hand longs to grab a machete--I can't say I enjoyed the job as a whole, but there was something enjoyable about it in small doses. Maybe I should plant a pine tree (or Colorado spruce, since I'm in Colorado!) and get myself a machete and trim it through the years ahead.

So why'd we get an artificial tree? Partly convenience--we're not surrounded by tree farms here like I was in Michigan. Partly the feeling that cutting down a tree to put it in my house for a few weeks seems like a bad environmental idead. Is it ultimately? I'm not sure. If I'm not buying as many trees, what happens to those acres of tree farms? Are the trees left to keep growing? And are new trees planted in the same numbers? If not, what happens to that land, and is the new use ultimately worse for the environment? I don't know. I'm sure it's an interesting thing to explore, and probably someone already has.

But regardless, we have an artificial tree, and it's a nice one. Our son likes it--we didn't have a tree at all last year because we'd moved 6 months earlier, so all our decorations and such were in a storage unit, and we were already preparing to move a few weeks after Christmas. So this year we get to actually make our house look a bit Christmas-y, though nothing like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

So I hope you enjoy the holiday season--both those you celebrate and those you don't. Peace out.

4 comments:

Lesli said...

Have you considered getting a live tree? My dad does that. They're in a pot and designed to be replanted once you're done with them.

Daniel Ausema said...

Yes, I did consider that when I saw them at Home Depot. I'll keep it in mind for the future too, but I think the reason I didn't get it is that our yard is very small and already quite full of trees. I think it's a good idea though.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I got a real tree the first few years we lived together, but convenience ultimately won out and now we're very appreciative the fake one with the lights already on it.

I do miss the scent of a real tree, though. Guess I'll just have to roam around outside more and sniff the ones there.

Daniel Ausema said...

Ours actually came with a plug-in real-tree-smell thing, but we didn't really like it--it was too strong and still smelled more of cheap air freshener than of real tree.