It’s Decision Time


Christmas 2013

Well, what’s it going to be: Real or fake?

That’s the discussion I’m hearing these last several days− who knew that Christmas tree preferences would be a hot topic on “news” programs? For reasons I really can’t quite explain, I did a little research…

It would seem that on average, the cost of real Christmas trees has risen 125% nationwide over the past 4 years with the average cost per tree rising to $75 in 2016, and to an expected $80 this year. According to the National Christmas Tree Growers Association, the prices have risen so much in recent years because of the drop in demand caused by the economic slowdown over the last several years coupled with the influx of inexpensive imports from China of pre-lit artificial trees.

Whatever happened to the days when we would get a permit from the Bureau of Land Management for $5 to go into Federal lands and cut any tree we wanted?

Honestly, I had no idea that any of this had taken place; we haven’t had a tree since 2011. Well, that is until this year. She Who Must Be Obeyed recently went out and purchased one of those cheap pre-lit imports. Upon arriving back home she took it out of the box and began putting it together but had a problem getting the base pieces to fit into place. She took her fist and started whacking the four foot pieces into place, but there was one that just wouldn’t quite line up properly. She told me to get it into place so I gave it whack with my fist… and I shattered it into little airborne pieces.

Although I really didn’t hit it very hard, I was in Big Trouble with the Boss.

Fear not, there is a solution to every problem… I fixed it by simply putting a big rock on the opposite foot, and our cheap Chinese fake tree stands upright in all its artificial glory!

Can anyone tell me why we put ourselves through this every year? What does all of this have to do with the coming of the Baby Jesus anyway? Aren’t Christmas trees an adaptation of ancient paganism?

OK, I learned long ago never to actually ask any of these questions…

So what’s it going to be: Real or fake? As for me, all I have to say is a resounding ‘bah, humbug’!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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33 Responses to It’s Decision Time

  1. Ah, the joys of living where Christmas trees are grown. $75? Never! The average 6ft tree (8ft ceiling) costs about $45, $50 if you want blue spruce.

    I remember the year when my brother (much older) came home with a silver aluminum tree. 👎😂

    • Don Merritt says:

      Oh mercy. I remeber one year in the 60’s when my Mom tried to talk my Dad into getting one of those. It was the one time he put his foot down about Christmas decorations: No Way! 🙂

  2. paulfg says:

    Mr M! No tree for 6 years! I cannot believe it! And then a cheapo foreign fakey? That is below “Bah Humbug” – that is off the scale of Bah Humbug!

    We are “real” every year. We have a base that comes from Germany and simply needs the tree dropped in and the foot-pump pumped to tighten around it. Already with a self-contained weight and then filled with water it is the work of seconds. And then brings innocent joy to all in its presence (“presence” – now that sounds familiar). Our real trees have dropped in price since last year (we go to a farm and avoid a huge carbon footprint)

    As for; “Aren’t Christmas trees an adaptation of ancient paganism?” And a good job too I say!! 😉

  3. Neither this year. I’m new in Germany and not sure where to buy a tree, real or fake, or how I would get one to the apartment. When we were in Canada it was always fake – we inherited a tree so didn’t have to worry about it. I read that Canadian prices are up this year, to an average of $27. Which is about $20 in US currency – you people are paying too much.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Yes we are! Maybe we should take a road trip to Canada to get our trees… but then I guess that would drive prices up for Canadians and that wouldn’t be very neighborly. 🙂

  4. jessicamaymoore says:

    Don, I have a 4 ft fake (because I am 4’8″) that I have used for 18 years. I have to decorate it myself except it has lights. I believe you called it a pre-lit import. I really dread it. Trying to get it down from the upstairs closet is torture. I feel guilty if I don’t do it. I’d rather be reading your blog.

    • Don Merritt says:

      LOL Well bless you for the pre-dawn laugh 🙂 I know what you mean. I always dread the process of hauling Christmas stuff to and from the basement; it’s no fun at all!

  5. says:

    Every year I vow to simplify the decorations – especially the tree. A few years ago we got one of those Charlie Brown trees. Next year I plan to simply set that one up and forget the big one with all the trimmings. Maybe a palm tree with one ornament would be more appropriate.

  6. Bette Cox says:

    Y’all are funny… I have several generations’ worth of decorations and ornaments stacked on shelves in a hall closet, where they will safely stay for another year. Four cats. All who love to chew on new “toys” whether they were meant to be toys or not, three who love to push things off tables and counter-tops, and two who love to climb anything higher than a footstool. One kitty is a good boy, he just lays there and watches the other three get into trouble… Merry Christmas, Don! I love the pictures. 🙂

    • Don Merritt says:

      With all of that activity I can see why you’ll leave the decorations safe and sound in the closet. You know, I’ve never been much of a cat fan but if they can get me out of this craziness maybe I should rethink my position. 🙂

      Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas Season Bette, and thank you!

  7. Steve B says:

    Try putting a real tree in a small apartment. $5 fake tree is fine.

  8. We put up a tree for the first time in about three years ourselves. Our last tree was a small, two and a half foot optical strand pre-lit tree due to the small place we lived in Arizona. This year our kids took pity and gave us a six foot pre-strung lighted tree. So we did the noble thing and “installed” it! I’m sorry, I love the Christmas music and the Spirit behind Christmas but the commercial craziness and the trying to “out do” the neighbors, just doesn’t cut it with me. And due to the fact of my physical disabilities, I am content with turning the music on, and watching our donated tree, blink on and off!!!

    But, Like you my brother, in the Spirit of Christ-mas, I wish all a blessed, a very blessed and joyous time and if I believed in wishes, it would be that the feeling could and would last all year long!!! 😉

  9. I wonder what the response will be when I tell you I have a beautifully made wire baobab tree that I decorate for Christmas?! I have tiny Christmas decorations I hang on it – African beadwork and minute wrapped parcels. It’s about 18″ high and looks different that’s for sure But having a pine tree, covered with bits of cotton wool for snow when it is 90+ degrees in Johannesburg is a bit incongruous – although many people do.
    Still eat hot turkey and Christmas pudding though, in spite of the heat! 🙂
    Stay warm, everyone!

    • Don Merritt says:

      It makes perfect sense to me for you to adapt to your surroundings for your celebratons. My Dad wanted us to decorate a palm for Christmas since we lived in an area that had a lot more palms than pines. My Mom and sister had a fit at the very mention of it… 🙂

  10. Always fake here. No watering. And the cats don’t feel tempted to run up and tip over the fake trees, only the real ones!

  11. Reblogged this on Fertiileground's Blog and commented:
    To tree or not to tree
    That is the question

  12. Sharing your thoughts and observations. Thanks for speaking up….and the gentle humor.

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