For some time now, I've had an artificial Christmas Tree in my house. Just bought a new one this year, one that has flocking on it. Looks nice in the store. Looks like a snowstorm dumped white stuff all over my living room floor once it was set up.

Growing up, my family always had a real tree for Christmas. It was a fun adventure for the family, a couple of weeks before Christmas. We lived in the country and would visit one of the nearby tree farms to pick out our tree.

It was a lot of fun with the entire family walking through the farm in search of that perfect tree. I don't think we had any disagreements as to which tree would become ours.

Thinking harder, I think it always was my father who made that decision. We didn't argue with Dad. Not a good idea. He had a good eye for that perfect tree anyway, so it was all good, plus he was the person who had to cut it down, drag it back to the cashier and then tie it to the top of the car.

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My Mom and Dad did most of the decorating, but it was our job to place the tinsel on the tree. That horrible silver tinsel. That horrible, used, year after year, silver tinsel. I mean, how expensive could it really be? Couldn't we afford to throw it out at the end of the holiday season and buy a new box next year? The short answer is no.

And to make matters worse, the tinsel had to be placed on the tree one strand at a time. No clumping or throwing it on the tree. It had to look uniform. When it was time to take down the tree, the tinsel had to be taken off individually and placed back in that crummy small beat up package it came in. Yea, it doesn't go back in as easy as it comes out.

I equate that to a bit of mild torture. If I never see a strand of tinsel again in my lifetime, I will die a happy man. I do miss the adventure of getting a real tree. The look, the smell, well it really brings back good memories...except for the tinsel.

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