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Growing up, when it came to the holidays, our house was the place where Christmas Trees went to die. Not just because they were real, live, trees that had been cut down and were essentially dead already.

No, when it came to picking Christmas trees, my family was evergreen challenged. Charlie Brown had nothing on us.

One year, my mom went to the lot and picked out a truly gorgeous tree. We brought it home and put it up in the stand. It fell over. We put it up again. It fell over. My dad looked at it and discovered the problem. The bottom of the trunk had grown out at a ninety degree angle and needed to be trimmed off.

So Dad dragged the tree back outside and cut off the bottom of the trunk to make it straight. Suddenly our 8 foot Douglas fir had become a 6-1/2 foot named just Doug.

Back into the stand. Back over on its side. Back outside, more trimming, down to 6 feet now.

We finally got it in the stand and it stayed up long enough for us to decorate it. Then it fell over. Broken lights and glass ornaments flew everywhere. My Dad was not happy. The tree had become his arch-nemesis. The Joker to his Batman. The vampire to his Buffy. You get the idea.

One year, the very first year that my mom gave in and decided that we would get an artificial tree, my best friend and I hid it in an upstairs closet so it was missing when she came home from work. We replaced it with a dead tree branch in a vase and hung a single light and bulb on it. We killed ourselves. Mom was not amused. When I got married we went through several years of buying real trees and lashing to the roof of the car to get them home. Finally, after several spills of our own, we too decided on an artificial tree. It’s beautiful, but I can’t help but think that Christmas misses a little something each year without a trunk twisted, needle dropping, falling over Christmas tree.

What about you? Are you real or artificial when it comes to Christmas Trees? And have you ever had a Christmas tree mishap that you’ve never forgotten?

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