by Kate Collins
As I lit my pine scented candle and hung fir fragranced icicles on the branches of my artificial Christmas tree, it struck me just how far I'd come from the person who'd put on warm boots, coat, mittens and a hood to tramp through acres of balsams and pines in search of that perfect bundle of evergreen joy.
Now I open a long box, pull out a metal stand, insert bottom piece C into the base, middle piece B into C, and top it with A, then fluff out the compressed branches, and begin the process of turning synthetic greenery into what might pass for a real tree.
Kind of sad, isn't it?
Where did that adventurous young woman go who was willing to brave ten degree temps and a foot of crunchy snow to find her tantalizing tannenbaum? She ran shrieking for cover one post-Christmas morning, that's where.
Guess what was hiding in my aromatic evergreen? An egg full of spider mites. It hung unseen deep in the boughs until, incubated by the warmth of our house, it burst open and spilled hundreds of tiny tarantulas all over the opened gifts that lay prettily beneath the tree.
That was the end of that. Now I happily hang those scented icicles, light my fragrant candle, and even spray a mist of musky evergreen into the air, all in an effort to recreate those glorious post-mite days of yore, when the needles, and the scents, were real.
Your turn. Are you a realist or a pretender?