O Tannenbaum; why some silly German immigrants still put live trees in their house.
By Andy Sands
Every other year my parents have Christmas in Marietta. My mother's family lives in Vine Grove, Kentucky so we make the six hour pilgrimage each year to spend Christmas with them. This is our only extended time to spend with them so my sister and I always stay with them on Christmas eve and day. We can always tell if Mom and Jon are going to be with us on Christmas depending on the tree that we use. If it is a living tree then they will be home for Christmas day and they will be in Kentucky if the tree is fake. Jon loves the whole experience of going to the tree farm, picking it out, cutting it down and taking it back to the house. There is something to having a real tree. I do not know what it is but bringing in a living creature to stay with us over the holidays is fun. Mom is allergic to pets, so it is nice to have a non human guest over for Christmas. The smell of it alone gives my brain the signal that it is Christmas time. Decorating it is more fun because it is not symmetrical and it lends itself more to a creative and aesthetic adventure unlike this year where we put the ornaments onto weird rubber pine needles. The feeling just is not the same. Of course it has to be watered, swept, and sort of pampered or else it will die and rot in the house. Everyone else in my family uses fake plastic trees so it is also a unique experience exclusive to Marietta Christmas. My grandparents in Kentucky use cling wrap on their tree New Years Day, so they do not have to decorate it every year. As our society becomes more digital and fake it is nice to take a day to go out in the cold and cut down a tree to use in a weird German tradition about paganism and Jesus.