While we were preparing our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, my mother, sister, and I were sharing memories of my maternal grandmother. As I’ve mentioned before, she died when I was about six years old, so I don’t have a lot of memories like I do with my paternal grandmother.
One memory involved my grandparents’ Christmas tree and how I could look at it for hours. I quipped that their tree took care of any curiosity about the psychedelic drugs that were so popular then. You see, my grandparents had a color wheel light that turned their white flocked Christmas tree shades of blue, green, red, and orange. Actually, I remember the tree as being a white aluminum tree but my mother and sister said it was a flocked tree. No matter, the effect was the same. I was in a trance as I listened to the motor of the light whir as it rotated the disk and saw the tree magically change colors.
I was in and out of a couple of stores that sell artificial trees last weekend. Although they were all on sale for relatively dirt cheap prices, none of them evoked a feeling of Christmas for me. I don’t know. Maybe the artificial trees just seem to “try too hard” to be as realistic looking as possible but never quite make it. An aluminum tree, on the other hand, doesn’t even try to look real. It is comfortable in its own “tin.” It doesn’t try to be something it isn’t.
For the past few years we’ve had a sapling fir tree in a pot that we dragged indoors every year. Unfortunately, the drought has taken its toll on the tree and, despite our frequent watering, it has died (our yardman unceremoniously uprooted it out of its giant pot last week and threw it into the green bucket for mulching). I can’t bring myself to bring a dried out tree that was cut weeks ago into my home (especially after we discovered that they have started spray painting trees to hide how dried out they are). But, I also can’t bring myself to buy one of those artificial trees I was looking at last weekend.
I hear aluminum trees are making a comeback. Perhaps I should omit the color wheel, though. What do you think?