Fir or Faux 4 U?

What does your Christmas tree say about you?

By Mary Lynne Spazok

What does your Christmas tree say about you? Just like gift-giving unveils insights into a relationship, your Christmas decor brings to light a distinct persona. If just before Thanksgiving you’re itching to dust off the tinsel (tinsel was once banned by the government because early on it contained lead) and twinkling LEDs, then you’re likely to be in touch with your inner child. Memories of Christmas past illuminate our hearts. Whether you prefer faux, a garden fresh variety from a “pop up” lot, or fell your fir, ’tis the season!

When it comes to choosing the perfect pine, space, placement, and budget are all in play. If you oppose holiday commercialization, perhaps Charlie Brown-chic is more your style. Charlie Brown’s tree is not ostentatious by any measure, but more a humble icon of hope, the true meaning of Christmas. Those who choose artificial are practical, long-term planners, budgetoriented, and organized. The allure of afaux Christmas tree is obvious: reusable, dependably lush, and symmetrical. In opposition, mess-and maintenance-free convenience has an environmental penalty. Artificial trees are made from materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and metal. Once used to its maximum life expectancy (when you tire of it), they generally end up in landfills. In contrast, emergent Christmas trees provide habitat for wildlife and prevent erosion of rugged, often unusable terrain. Entrenched in USC’s community of sustainable awareness, “Choosing a real tree is the environmentally-sound choice. What could be more natural?” said Bob Scott, of the National Christmas Tree Association. Tom McNabb of Yule Tree Farms affirms, “Real trees are an important oxygen-producing conservation crop.” So, if you revere nature, then fresh greenery is for you.

Are you grandiose or symmetrical? An extra big tree, perhaps “too big,” is simply an expression of a flamboyant character. Your ambitious persona confirms that you can, in fact, make it work no matter what. You dream big and are not afraid of failure. However, if perfection is your mantra, choose symmetrical. You are a visual learner; you command structure and thrive in venues of discipline and order. No decision is made lightly when it comes to deliberate, strategic embellishment.

Add a touch of magic and warmth with a dazzling array of lights. The first known electrically-illuminated Christmas tree was the creation of Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison. Are you white, multi, theme, or none? Choosing “none” equates to an “off-the-grid” personality. Into glitzy? You are fearless! Big, bright, and bold is an extension of your gregarious personality; your outdoor star-studded display is cosmos worthy. Aw, the understated minimalist—monochrome in design and favors discreet radiance. Whether LED, incandescent, C7, C9, theme, bubble, candle, mini, commercial, clear, white, color, blinking, or sparkling—lighting choices are electrifying. Banish boring and change it up; better yet, mix and match!

After illumination, start at the top! If you favor the star tree topper you think of yourself as stellar—one who steps up to take a strong leadership role and has a staunch moral compass. Equally popular, an Angel reveals a person with a strong spiritual side who has a kind soul and a charitable heart. Humble or opulent, tree toppers are always the crowning glory.

Next, it’s the adornment of shimmering ornamentation. The root word “ornament” is defined as an accessory used to beautify, enrich, or improve the appearance or general effect of an object. Hence, decorating bravura is personal. Flamboyant helter-skelter energy equates to hanging every last light and decoration you own, expressing fervid independence. Living over-the-top, you don’t care what others think. This fun, carefree eclectic flair is sometimes known as “everything but the kitchen sink.” If, however, the best two words to describe you are “content and secure,” you embrace charming, historically proven ornaments of a traditionalist. The ever green eco-conscious personality prefers handcrafted, earthy, and low key. Whatever the motif, love overflows and joy abounds in a home that is richly blessed with family and friends.

Exactly, what is the post-holiday value of a fresh fir? Communities, including the Township of Upper St. Clair, chip and recycle back conifers to Mother Earth. Merits of intact trees include wind barriers, erosion barriers, and pond sinking for aquatic habitation. Did you know that intact artificial trees can be donated to various charitable groups, schools, pet rescues, and other organizations? How about securing it in a weighted container for your back deck or porch? Plug into a proper timer for a more distanced alfresco ambiance.

You can upcycle other faux greenery, as well, including wreaths and swags. Place a wreath on an outdoor bird feeder. It will protect the seeds from moisture and the birds from high winds. Secure a wreath to a pole along with a suet feeder to help birds survive the frigid months. Suet replenishes depleted stores of nutrients vital for the increased energy demands of spring nesting.

So, for you, is it fir or faux? Ultimately, the Christmas tree you choose is a reflection of your world view. In A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965, short film/comedy), Charlie Brown stated, “... even a small, unassuming tree is one that needs me: One with the potential to become something beautiful, magical, and unexpected.” 

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