Broken Christmas tradition

Published 9:26 pm Friday, December 12, 2008

It’s hard to believe but Christmas is upon us.

For as long as Tiffany and I have been married, we’ve trekked to various parts of the state in search of the “perfect” Christmas tree.

Tiffany has always preferred a live tree. For a newly married couple that only owned a pair of two-door sports cars, we often found this journey a little more than challenging.

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Our first Christmas, I strapped a live tree to the top of a Camaro with several feet of twine and a lot of hope that the tree would survive the nearly 40 mile drive back up Interstate 65.

We got a lot of funny looks but we got our tree back to our little apartment.

This was my first experience with a live Christmas tree. Growing up, we’d always had the same artificial tree year after year. From across the room, you couldn’t tell the difference.

That wasn’t good enough.

Tiffany claimed that Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a live tree, so the annual tradition I’ve come to call “the shake and spin dance” was born.

First, I would sort through an endless pile of trees, pull each one out, give it a shake so the limbs wouldn’t sick together and spin it around to check for bare spots.

My magic number was always 10.

If we could find the perfect tree in less than 10 shake and spins, it was a good day.

This year brought a change in tradition.

For reasons still unclear to me my shake and spin dance was not needed this year. T

iffany opted for an artificial tree.

At first, this announcement brought on a sigh of relief.

It takes a few days for the sap to wear off your hands and several washes to get it out of your clothes.

You don’t have to water it, so that was an added bonus.

But as the days wore on I started to realize that Tiffany was right. It’s just not the same.

The things I’d always told myself I hated – the shake and spin, the oozing sap and spilling more water than I could pour into the base – had became part of my Christmas tradition.

I thought I didn’t enjoy them until I didn’t have to do them anymore. As it turns out, I miss them.

While the artificial tree Tiffany picked out for our Christmas this year is nice, I don’t think it will hold its prominent place in our living room next season. That place should be reserved for a living tree and the laborsome holiday traditions that go with them.

Note: Jason Cannon is the publisher of the Demopolis Times.