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What do you look for when shopping for a Christmas tree?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 13, 2007

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Photo of Maggie Bixler

“I look for one that’s fat and spunky. One that’s asymmetrical and has some awkward branches. It has to have some character.”

Photo of Chuck Epp

“Wild cedar. It’s a family tradition, and they smell great.”

Photo of Audra Allen

“I always look for one without any holes where you can see the trunk and strong branches, so they don’t get pulled down by the ornaments.”

Photo of Trent Nauholz

“I usually go with a fake one, and I look for ease of setup.”


Pywacket 6 years, 4 months ago

ACG~ I love your logic! ;-) I can't bring myself to cave in to the easiness of fake trees just yet. I was brought up steeped in the belief that a fake tree was a sacrilege right up there with Cheez Wiz or instant coffee or tea. When I get too old to give a rip, I'll buy a fake tree. Until then, I love the novelty of having a real one in the house. I love cut flowers & greenery in the house year round--a tree is just a cut-flower arrangement taken to exponential dimensions.

Idarastar~ Unless you weep for the stalks of corn and beards of wheat that are felled for our consumption, you should not waste too many tears for the live trees that are "killed" for the holidays. They, like the corn and wheat, are planted as cash crops and their replacements are already in the ground before they are cut.

I'd be right beside you if they were harvested from the wild, but they're not. Also, there are lots of positive things that can be done with the trees after they are taken down. They can be chipped and used for mulch, sunk into ponds and lakes for fish cover, or hauled into the middle of your street as a "traffic-calming device." (Kidding on that last one.)


acg 6 years, 4 months ago

Andini that almost made me pee a little!!

I like the fake trees. Not because of some convoluted notion about saving the trees, but because I only spent $80 on it, it'll last forever, it's way easy to put up, easy to take down, it doesn't poke me and I don't have to stress the house burning down as much. Let's face it, the holidays are stressful enough, especially for the women of the household. Making things as easy as possible is a great way to alleviate some of that.


idarastar 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't really care for trees, but if I were to get one, it would be an artificial tree--one of those small fiber optic ones. The twinkle reminds me of fresh snow under the moonlight. I don't see any reason for the annual killing trees unneccessarily . If you do happen to buy a dead tree to celebrate, please contact the right people to dispose of it properly! :)


Pywacket 6 years, 4 months ago

Fraser fir. Tall, rather narrow (I dig that Victorian tree look), if it has a cone or two, that's good luck. Spray paint is never acceptable. I don't mind if it has uneven branches--the little gaps are the perfect place to showcase a special ornament or to tuck in a present for a kid to find.

I used to cut my own trees, but the tree farms around here only grow varieties I don't like (not their fault--this is a horrible place to grow any evergreens, and the Scotch or Austrian pines are about the only ones they can grow commercially here). They also shear and spray paint them. Nasty! That sheared look is unnatural, like the side of the tree is a solid slope.

I miss the trees that grow up north--so that's what I buy.

I can't stand those Eastern red cedars that grow wild around here. They aren't even true cedar--they're junipers. Word. And they smell like cat pee. Junipers all have that odor. I cut them down whenever they try growing on my property. You don't want them around if you have fruit trees--they are a reciprocal host for cedar-apple rust, which requires two different host species to complete a reproductive cycle. Finally--they have a nasty, scratchy feel to them. Only thing they're good for is sinking into a pond for fish shelter.

In addition to the big fir tree, we usually get a live 4' Norfolk Island pine to put in another part of the house and decorate with miniature ornaments, too. If you keep them alive throughout the winter, they can summer outdoors.


Ceallach 6 years, 4 months ago

Hobby Lobby's 75% off sale . . a week or two after Christmas. Got a great one two years ago and it is great. Handy dandy fold-out branches. When I was able to have real trees (before I realized they were trying to kill me each December) I agreed with Maggie's choice, a tree with personality, even if it was a bit twisted. Hmmm, it's possible that kind of thinking may have caused me trouble in other areas of my life.


GretchenJP 6 years, 4 months ago

An artificial one, preferrably pre-lit or fiber optic.


RomanNose 6 years, 4 months ago

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 4 months ago

"I'm sure glad it's not even winter yet and global warming is in full effect" R_I

The NWS just put the cursed "4-8 inches" on us. Global warming ought to take care of that.


kneejerkreaction 6 years, 4 months ago

Something tasteful and chic, but never with horizontal stripes. Vertical stripes slim down the overall profile. I have the biggest problem finding shoes.


RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure, after 14 years this one may see it's last Christmas, I think my spousal unit will go sunflower_sue's route.

I'm sure glad it's not even winter yet and global warming is in full effect.
Didn't Al Gore commit treason with his remarks in Bali? Is it just me or do you think Rachael Ray would throw down?


jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

That right consistency of plastic and fiberglass that gives the impression of being alive but is still totally not. Like an android.


Andini 6 years, 4 months ago

Nobody likes to shop for a Christmas Tree. Nobody. The other trees hurt you, sometimes very badly. First you shop because your father wants you to. Then you shop to get the girls. If you keep on shopping, you do it for scholarships, and to get the girls. Then you shop for the money and the girls. Then you get to just look for the trees, and that's fun. But nobody likes to shop for a Christmas Tree. Nobody.


sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

a coupon or after-Christmas sale


trinity 6 years, 4 months ago

soft needles...fullness...color, deep beautiful green...REAL, even tho they've usually been spray painted!...and just as tall as whatever ceilings i'm living under will accomodate! :)


The_Original_Bob 6 years, 4 months ago

"Katie_Horner (Anonymous) says:

A large thick trunk that is tall and erect that needs a star on top."

You looking to get knocked up again?


Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

The jokes are just writing themselves this morning.


OJ_Simpson 6 years, 4 months ago

Make sure you get it before it footprints and don't drag it back to your house and leave a trail of needles p.s. don't drop your gloves


Crossfire 6 years, 4 months ago

Always make sure the Park Ranger has gone to bed. "You mus' be vewery quiet when hunting cwris-mis twees."


Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

One that is alive and green, that will grow in our yard and not so large that it requires redesigning the living room.

Wild Cedars are everywhere....


asiansensation 6 years, 4 months ago

How well maintained the trailer is for the attendant. If it's not well, then his tress suck.


Katie_Horner 6 years, 4 months ago

A large thick trunk that is tall and erect that needs a star on top


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