Not Faking It This Christmas

There’s a lot of things over the years that have plummeted in quality. Exhibit A would be appliances. My parent’s Kenmore harvest gold washer and dryer outlived them. Meanwhile it’s a miraculous event worthy of a “Ripley’s Believe or Not” shout out if any of my appliances last a decade.

 One thing though that has vastly improved in quality is the artificial Christmas tree. Back in the day those trees were more depressing than getting a fruitcake as your “big” present from your nana.

My fake tree coming of age was in the 1980s and those plastic PVC Frasier firs had all the charm of decorating a Tupperware container. It was a real two for one because you also got the off gassing of the plastic providing an olfactory experience that didn’t smell like your traditional scents of the season. Somehow cinnamon, ginger and cloves with an overlay of vinyl chloride monomer wasn’t a sensory gift that most people’s nasal passages wanted to cherish.

But now artificial trees are putting real, birthed in the soil, raised in the sun evergreens to shame. Team fake tree has turbo charged its game with advancements like “true needle foliage” where each tree has forty variations of Fraser fir branch tips.

There’s also needle matching where the trees feature a dozen different shades of green to replicate the “color story” of each branch. Then there’s “tip count” verification documents where someone solemnly swears that your tree has at least 6,000 tips because the higher the tips the fuller the tree.

All of these artificial tree improvements caused the unthinkable to happen in my house. For the first time in my life I was seriously considering faking it for Christmas. It’s not that I wanted an artificial tree, it was more like I was being wooed by my husband to give fake a chance.

The first thing I did was actually look at an artificial tree catalog.  My immediate take away was that the “tip count” doesn’t come cheap – cha-ching and that we, as a nation, are lacking the holiday spirit because these trees are pre-lit.

How can you even begin to experience the wonder of the season unless you undertake the ordeal of spending a good six hours (crying not required but I’d plan for it) wrapping your tree in lights? If anyone is thinking six hours must be a typo, well, you’re wrong. It takes at least that to twine lights on each branch until you’ve created a tree that looks like it’s been lit by dainty fairies with gossamer wings. 

My next adventure was to see some fake trees in person. They looked good, really good. I was impressed. But I still couldn’t shake my yearning desire for a fresh cut evergreen. This meant before I could fully embrace the fake tree life I needed to make a final visit to the land of the real tree.

Once I arrived I was engulfed in the scent of Christmas. As I walked down the aisle of Noble firs I lovingly caressed the branches of each tree I passed while making a concerted effort to not look at the price tag. 

After aggressively hugging a few Fraser Firs and getting some curious stares from other shoppers I confessed to my husband that I couldn’t go fake, at least not this year. Then, seconds later, as if I was getting a sign from a celestial gathering of evergreen angles, a divine light from the heavens shone down on the perfect tree for my family. 

Okay, so maybe that “divine light” was my husband moving out of my way so I could see more trees, but as far as family lore is concerned I’m sticking to my divine light story.


Did someone say divine? Well, then let’s talk about my books (paperback, ebook and audio) making lovely holiday gifts. From Empty a “laugh till you cry” menopausal revenge adventure perfect for any women in your life who buys wrinkle cream in bulk to the Snarky three pack – Back to School, Trouble in Texas and Four Seasons of Snarky. 🎁

Back to School is a hysterical read for any mom currently marinating in elementary school parent drama. Trouble in Texas is a tall tale of what happens when a mother just can’t stop meddling and enlists her 40 something daughter in her schemes. And Four Seasons of Snarky is the ideal book to give to someone who needs a primer on suburban revenge plots. (The book is a series of short stories so it’s awesome for the person who doesn’t have a lot of time to read.)

🎄To give a gift that will make someone smile click this Amazon link! (Which was super long so I made it into a tiny url.)