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Perhaps one of the best scenes in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is Clark Griswold risking the life, limb, and car of his family to obtain the perfect Christmas tree nestled in the freezing wilderness. Griswold salvages the tree amid bouts of incoming hypothermia, but its stay in the Griswold household proves to be just as disastrous for the overwhelmed epitome of a Middle America family trying to survive their in-laws during the busy holiday period. Amid a now-defunct sewer system, a botched bonus, and a potential kidnapping charge, Griswold and crew also have to deal with the very real consequences that come with bringing a piece – albeit, a large piece – of nature inside to celebrate Christmas. His experience, coupled with my personal forays with the real thing, have left me firmly in the camp that real life Christmas trees are wholly overrated.
If there’s one area of business that millennials may have justly killed, it’s the Christmas tree industry. For starters, who has time to trek to a hard-to-find Christmas tree lot to find an overpriced tree that also needs a full functional stand and trimming? I don’t have a car so I have a feeling that transporting this beast would be a nightmare and give me a 0-star Uber experience in the process. Instead, you could go with a fake version that comes optimized for the height and size of your apartment or home. I ordered mine on Black Friday and it is slated to arrive in two days straight to my door. It was the easiest purchase I made and probably the most practical one too.
For many folks living in apartments or smaller houses, having a real Christmas tree just doesn’t make a lot of sense. You never know what this living plant-based being might bring into your semi-clean apartment. Maybe it’s not the plague or a rabid squirrel that attacks house guests, but it very well could be bugs and an overwhelming amount of pine needles, which – much like sand – get everywhere. You’ll probably be finding leftover pine needles well after your attempt of disposing of your now-barren tree stick down the trash chute. Maybe you’re envisioning me as the Grinch greedily ripping presents from the under the trees of Whoville inhabitants but I am comfortable in my plastic tree prerogative.
Oh – and does anyone really like the pine smell? Much like a new car smell, the smell of pine resin loses its luster after just a few appearances to me. If we’re power-ranking Christmas smells, pine doesn’t even make the top five – give me hot chocolate, cinnamon, open fireplaces and whatever else is on the candle sale rack at Bath and Body Works before pine.
Instead, I’m opting for a pre-lit 3’ Christmas tree. There’s no worry of dead spots or water damage from a malfunctioning tree stand. This tree won’t end up on a “fire hazards you didn’t expect” YouTube video. Instead, I’ll have a nice, well-balanced tree that still gets me in the Christmas spirit, has enough space for any random ornaments I collect and saves me a few bucks along the way. And I know I’ll have the same tree waiting for me next year, with no hassle and limited assembly required. .