Monday, December 9, 2013

How Many Ways Can You Smell Christmas?

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?

21 comments:

Liz Straw said...

I used to love real trees until I realized every time I decorated one I broke out in a terrible rash. Took two or three days to clear it up. However, I also have to be very careful about scented candles, etc. My body has turned against me. LOL Artificial all the way. Baking cooking is the best smell around Christmas!

Heather Blake Webber said...

Oh. My. Gosh. Never have I been happier to have a fake tree in all my life. Tarantulas? shudder

SueAnn said...

Always a realist......do what I can to prevent bringing the outdoors critters in....but...sometimes...! When we cannot have a real tree..we do have a teeny fake one to put up.....already lit...and ornaments..about 2 feet tall!!! Something we found about 30 yrs ago n the trash! Was too cute to let go to the land fill........usually put it on the porch....sometimes inside....it moves around!

Kate Collins said...

Ohhh, I forgot about that smell, Liz. Thanks!

Kate Collins said...

Well, not quite the real tarantulas. But I'll bet if you enlarged those ugly little mites,they'd look like tarantulas! I just tend to exaggerate. Poetic license, right?

Jeannie D. said...

Ok, darn it, now you have me checking out my live tree for critters! Kinda freaked me out. My husband grew up in Michigan and insists on live trees. It doesn't really matter to me, live or not. I love the smells of baking, and pomanders to me that is the smells of Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Fake. My mother put the fear of FIRE in me. This is my 3rd or 4th artificial tree, and the prettiest yet. It's 7' tall and HEAVY. We store it in our basement the rest of the year. I may have to build a closet just for this tree so I won't have to lug it up and down stairs once a year.

Katreader said...

I am a real tree girl all the way!!! Growing up my parents and I would go and cut down our own. Now I go and get mine from the Boy Scouts. My parents have an artificial one now, but I love a fresh tree.

Karen in Ohio said...

Eeek! I've heard of bringing in small rodents with real trees, too. No, thank you. We've had an artificial tree since I bought one the day after Christmas, way back in maybe 1990, for 75% off. Have not put it up for several years, since we started going to my daughter's when her son was old enough to understand about Santa. This year, though, they're coming here, so we will be decking the halls.

Love Christmas candles, too!

Kristin A. said...

Eeeeeewwwww! Growing up, my family went to a tree farm where we scooted out the perfect ttre. We had such a fun time doing that. My hubby and I did the same for the first few years we were married (one time at a farm that had a spider spinner to spin bugs off!), but wanting our tree up from Thanksgiving weekend to around New Year's or Epiphany seemed like way too long (fire hazard for sure!) and we converted to an artificial tree, which we love just as much. This year my hubby got me a beautiful wreath from Costco, which is hanging in our living room. If I get close and breathe in deep - ahhhh - the smell of Christmas. I have never heard of the scented icicles. Do they work? I am such a candle person that it seems odd I've never done a pine or evergreen scented candle. Hmmmm.

Elaine Ellen said...

I miss the smell of a real tree but the last many years I haven't been able to smell them when we have had a real tree so we have gone the way of the artificial. Last year we tried a real one again and I rarely was able to smell it. Is it the tree or is it me? I tried the scented icicles also. It makes me sad that I can't smell that wonderful smell.

Carrie P said...

We've always done a real tree, but the year we moved to Charleston, money was short and my husband and son got the idea to put up my "Camping palm tree" It is a neon light-up palm tree, We used it camping and could always find our camper in the middle of the camp grounds loaded with other campers.
So now we switch off and on with a real tree and our "Corona tree", we put extra light strands on it and dearly loved ornaments that we always make sure have prominent spots on the tree.
I don't know which I like better, I have to admit I love the smell and the feel of the real tree, but the novelty of the "Corona Tree" is neat too.

Deb said...

My favorite live tree supplier (and great family friend) kept delivery a larger and larger tree each year until the last several holidays when it wouldn't fit inside the house, we plopped it in a stand outside on the patio and decorated it with outdoor lights and ornaments. We love it!!

Kate Collins said...

I wish i were as brave as you are.

Kate Collins said...

I found a candle (fir scented) that actually crackles like a fire. It's what I have on my desk while I write now. Very comforting.

Kate Collins said...

I found the scented icicles at a Menards store. I'm betting they have them at places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels, too. They are strong. I put all six up and had to take 4 off. Too pungent.

Kate Collins said...

Me, too, Elaine. But I'm not risking it. And I like to keep it up over a month. Hard to do that with a real tree.

Kate Collins said...

I know people in Key West who decorate their indoor palm trees for Christmas. How fun.

Aurian said...

What a horrible event, to find tiny spiders all through the room/house. When living alone I did not go to the bother to put up a tree, as I was more at the office then at home. The last few years I have put up an artificial tree, but it does not fit anymore in my room with my new couch. I don't really have an image in my head of something that smells like Christmas though.

Lynne said...

With all the beautiful ornaments collected over the decades, I happily put up my artificial tree. I love to bend and adjust the branches to fit each one. Also, no worries about ruining the shiny finishes with sap spots!

grammajudyb said...

I grew up with real trees as did my DH. But the year we bought a real tree and had to buy another before Christmas because it was so dry and dropping needles by the cupful, we opted for artificial. My husband was a volunteer fireman at that time and responded to several tree fires during that time. That cured us!. This year we are going to our daughters home in Colorado for Christmas so my tree is a small, flat wall tree ( 3 ft tall) hanging on the one empty wall in our dining room. At least I can have the lights on during the evening. I burn evergreen candles too, if I can find them.