Monday, October 31, 2011

Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree: Part One

Defining Perfection
Everyone has their own idea of the Perfect Christmas Tree. I’m sure my idea is different than yours and both of our ideals are different from the professional Christmas tree grower.
Perfection comes in all sizes, shapes,colors and scents. Some of us want the Christmas tree of our childhood memories. The perfect Christmas tree was the center of our holiday traditions.  Some of us have matured and we want that sparkly tree that we saw on Martha Stewart or in Southern Living magazine. Some of us are simple trying to forget the trees of Christmases past.

So take a few moments and define your version of The Perfect Christmas Tree for you and your family. Here are some things to consider:
  • Height
  • Width
  • Fullness
  • Length of needles
  • Color
  • Scent
Remember: You will pay for perfection. A perfect Christmas tree that is perfectly fresh and perfectly symmetrical along with a perfectly straight trunk and perfect all the way around is going to cost you big time. And I don’t know if a "perfect" Christmas trees really exists. 

In your pursuit of picking the perfect Christmas tree consider where you might be willing to compromise. If your tree is going into a corner or against a wall does it really need to be perfect all the way around? Can I tell you how many times we’ve “turned the bare spot to the wall” -- every year since 1958. Nobody noticed and in the end, nobody cared. In my experience that one bare spot that you didn’t see at the lot will end up being the perfect place for that over-sized ornament you never know what to do with.
Probably the one characteristic to stand strong on is the shape of the trunk. Granted, no one will see it but the actual installing of the tree in the stand sets the mood for the whole Christmas tree trimming experience and no one wants that job to take 5 hours. On a Sunday. With all your kids sitting patiently. With boxes of breakable ornaments on their laps. And that very special one that they spent all week making at school.

In retrospect, the trunk doesn’t even have to be that perfect. Just make sure that the bottom foot of the tree trunk – the part going in the stand – is as straight and as true as possible. And make sure that that perfectly straight tree trunk will fit inside your tree stand. If your tree stand is in two parts, why not take the cup part with you and try it on for size.

And it won’t hurt to remind your honey that you when you were picking out the perfect Christmas tree, you sacrificed the one you really wanted in order to get a straight trunk for him.

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