It’s A Charlie Brown Christmas

Look, it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. The economy has affected many people and places, I think this is a perfect display of where we are in this country. This tree is displayed in Concord, CA. Because of budget restraints, they were unable to put out $23,000 for a cut tree. Instead, they decided to use a tree that was already standing. This tree was chosen because it was close to electrical outlets. They believed using this tree to show their Christmas spirit was better than nothing. I agree. 
When I first looked at it, my reaction was dang what kind of tree is this. The city of Concord said it is getting mixed reactions with the tree. Many residents feel the tree is pathetic, they have always had beautiful trees on display. Some residents look at the tree as being unique. My initial reaction was that it was pathetic too. As I read the story and thought about where we are in this country, I appreciated the tree.
What would your reaction be if this was the tree your town displayed? Before I read this story I had been thinking about the fact that Christmas has become so commercialized. At times, I believe we’ve lost the true meaning of Christmas in this country. People spend thousands of dollars purchasing gifts and for the next year they struggle to pay off the debt. I used to be one of them, but I woke up years ago and relinquished my membership in the debt club. I make as many gifts as I can, be it a scarf for the kids, gift basket or a scrapbook. My family seems to appreciate the home made gifts so much more. You can’t put a price on a gift where someone has taken time and energy to make something for you.
For me Christmas is about the birth of Christ and spending time with family and friends not so much the gifts. I love cooking, making cookies and other treats, and just relaxing. I do enjoy watching the children laugh and play, and that’s where I spend my money on the children. When I looked at the tree displayed in Concord, CA I wondered why someone didn’t donate a tree to the town. Christmas is after all about giving. The state of California has beautiful mountains and evergreens. It simply would have been a matter of cutting it down and hauling it to the specified location. Oh, that’s right someone would have to take the time to do that. Everyone is so busy these days, who has time to help someone in need.
I admire the town in their attempt to show their Christmas spirit on a budget. Most people would have been too embarrassed to admit they were struggling and just couldn’t afford it, but wanted to participate in the celebration with what they had. I believe there is a lesson to be learned with this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It’s a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior would have been pleased.
I would love to know your thoughts on this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Please leave us a comment.

One Less Holiday Tradition

I took this picture before I took my tree down last year. I vowed that it would be the last year for a real tree in my house. The holidays have arrived and I’m not sure if I can follow through with my decision to purchase an artificial tree this year. The thought of not having a real tree is torturing me.

As I was decorating the tree last year I decided the pros of an artificial tree outweighed the pros of a real tree. I love the smell of a pine tree, but that was the only pro that I could come up with. I hate the mess when taking it down. Clean up is a little easier now that I have hardwood floors, but those needles stick and prick when the tree starts to dry out. I used to think that real trees looked better than the artificial trees, but they have great looking artificial trees on the market now. I have room to store an artificial tree and it would be easier pulling it out of storage than browsing tree farms in the freezing cold looking for a tree, tying it down and lugging it home only to find that a damn branch is keeping it from going into the tree stand or the trunk is too large for the stand that we have. Out the door we go with the tree to trim off the branch or the trunk while arguing like two crazy people on why we don’t buy an artificial tree.

If the pros of an artificial tree outweigh a real tree, why don’t I just switch you ask? After 30 years of having a real tree, I’m having difficulty parting with tradition. Here’s what I will be missing:

  • No more bundling up in layers so I won’t freeze to death searching for a tree.
  • No more arguing with my significant other over the size of the tree.
  • No more 5 mile per hour drives for miles so we don’t loose the tree from the trunk or it won’t go flying off the back of the truck.
  • No more arguing over tree trunks or tree stands.
  • No more watching the tree fall to the floor after its been decorated because it has shifted in the stand or someone didn’t turn the screws tight enough.
  • No more tying the tree to the wall to support it and having to fill in the holes once we take it down.
  • No more cutting off the tip because I can’t get the star on the top.
  • No more arguing over taking the tree to the dump because I missed the only day the garbage man will take it.
  • No more arguing over whose turn it is to crawl underneath the tree so it can be watered.
  • No more arguing over why I surrounded the damn tree with gifts and now nobody can get to the stand to pour water in it.
  • No more streams running down the hardwood floor or soaked tree skirts because somebody poured too much water into the stand.
  • No more pine needles in the fake snow under the tree.
  • No more holes in the tree because the branches hadn’t dropped in the cold so we could see the tree’s true shape.
  • No more turning the tree around and around to find the best side and deciding where you had it originally is where it should be.
  • No more scratched up arms or hands from the needles.
  • No more arguing over my significant other’s left or my left.
  • No more browsing 10 different lots/tree farms and than heading back to the first one for the first tree that I saw.

This has been tradition in my household with a real tree. Who in the hell am I going to argue with now? How much fun is it going to be dragging a cardboard box out of storage rather than dragging the tree across a parking lot or tree farm while praying that I don’t turn into an icicle. I feel like a kid having to give up a security blanket or their favorite toy. I had no idea it would have this kind of affect on me. I have until the week-end to embrace the fact that the tradition of having a live Christmas tree is No More. Pray for me bloggy friends!