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NAX: Lots of folks make a stand on a big Christmas symbol - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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NAX: Lots of folks make a stand on a big Christmas symbol

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Posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010 12:00 am

Somehow, it always seems like events surrounding Christmas come down to items involving reality. Matters of artificiality vs. the real thing are just going to have to happen.

It starts at the top and goes all the way down the ladder.

And, as always, money usually is part of the deal. After all, the holiday season is commercial in nature. So the reality is that you have to spend a lot of money during this time of year. But you get a little artificial help if you fall back on plastic, which eventually just buys some time.

But we always get back to Christmas and what it has become.

Oh no, we’re not talking that whole Santa Claus thing. We all know the Santa spirit is what drives the entire holiday from the nonreligious standpoint, so, yes Virginia, Claus is the cause.

Actually, the biggest real vs. unreal thing going these days is the Christmas tree that will grace our homes.

For years, we had all sorts of strange options to supplant those fir and pine and cedar trees that some insist on having around.

But for many, aluminum or plastic just won’t cut it. And they definitely don’t see purple or blue colored artificial trees holding up under the pressure.

But let’s face it, real trees carry a lot of baggage. They demand quite a bit of maintenance in watering and even feeding. What’s more, it’s almost impossible to keep the real deal from spreading needles and parts of branches into the Christmas area.

What’s more, it’s almost impossible to find a perfectly shaped real tree. The main branch almost always has some sort of flaw in it, plus limbs just don’t always grow in straight lines and in the places needed to make the final product free of gaps. Then there’s dealing with trees that have been bundled and trucked out for distribution all across the country. Damages do happen in such circumstances and it’s not fun finding what you perceive to be a great tree and then discovering that it’s got flaws.

Plus, there’s the allergy aspect. It’s wonderful to smell a freshly cut tree in your living room, but they also tend to make some folks run for the nasal spray and other medicines that will stop the eyes from watering and the sneezes from taking over.

So supplanting live trees with the more perfectly formed (and less intrusive) plastic alternative is not always done on a whim. For many, it’s a carefully thought out choice.

And let’s face it, the choice of artificial trees has come a long way in recent years.

For instance, a lot of the trees come with lighting already installed. Just plug them in and you’ve got a jump on the whole decoration process. But that also can become a liability when the lights start going out and you have to buy a whole new tree.

At any rate, the options are being exercised in many different ways. And those who want some real tree odor can get added merchandise to lend the right scents. And they’re easily removed if anyone starts sneezing.

Honestly, the real vs. artificial tree fight is becoming less of a hassle all the time. Just make your choice and live with it (and the costs involved). Hey, that’s a Christmas gift all its own.

Odessa, TX

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