It’s roughly one week until Thanksgiving, which is the day I think is the soonest people should decorate for the winter holidays. (But, hey, if you want to decorate earlier, I’m not going to argue.)
Earlier this year, before the pandemic hit, I decided I would need to buy a new Christmas tree. Yes, I am a fan of fake trees for multiple reasons – no mess, no need to water, can be reused, come pre-lit, and no allergic reactions.
About six years ago, I bought an untraditional fake conifer – it was black. My disclosure of this at that time actually resulted in two letters to the editor about the need for keeping Christmas tradition. Though honestly, I think the letters were more about getting extra credit for class than my tree decision.
The reason for the black tree was based on how we perceive certain colors and green happens to be dominant, making my colorful ornaments fade into the tree instead of being the focal point. The black tree with clear lights ensured my jewel-toned ornaments wouldn’t be outshined.
As anyone who purchases fake trees knows, they only last so long before the bendable branches start to break. I’m sure the expensive fake trees last a lot longer (at least I would hope so for something that costs hundreds of dollars) but I’m in the category of budget buys aka cheap yet sturdy for several years.
I knew exactly what I wanted – a pre-lit white tree with multicolored lights. Of course, even though I knew what I was shopping for, I still decided to browse a variety of fake Christmas trees online. There were plenty of non-traditional trees out there, but then I found something I considered to be traditional.
I turned to Facebook, asking my friends if everyone’s grandparents had one of these traditional decorations – the 12-inch green ceramic tree that plugged into an electrical socket to light the small bulbs on the end of the “branches.” You know what I’m talking about. As a kid, I thought this decoration was fancy because it was breakable. I had the belief that if something was breakable, it was expensive. I know better now, but at 6 it was a different story.
As I grew older, I found the ceramic trees to be kitschy, the type of Yuletide décor that was put out because of its vintage and not aesthetic quality.
After posting an image of the vintage ceramic decoration, plenty of friends chimed in to let me know yes, their grandparents or parents had the exact same model. Several had even received the one previously owned by older family members while others were asking their grandparents if they were willing to part with it.
Part of me kind of wishes I had taken the ceramic Christmas tree from my grandparents’ house, while the bulk of my brain knows I’d have no room for it in my apartment, despite the ceramic’s small size.
But these vintage decorations are still being created with 21st century touches like LED lights, timers and battery operated.
If I couldn’t have a standard 6-foot tree, I think I’d want one of the vintage ceramic Christmas trees just like the ones I used to know. Although, I think the fiber optic one I had during college is still pretty funky, nothing can really beat out the classic ceramic.