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O Tannenbaum! O Tannenbaum! December 20, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
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Our Tannenbaum (and deutchofiles will appreciate the capitalization) is not exactly a fir tree…more like a faux-fir. My husband and I grew up with the aroma of balsam in the air at Christmastime and our first two years of marriage, we went on the annual tree hunt, that quest for the perfect tree, with limbs that would fall to just the right height, be nice and full, with no bald spots, and broad enough to cast a lovely bonnet over the presents that would come to lie beneath it. Last year, our first Christmas as parents with a newly toddling 10-month-old along with new-parent fears of spontaneous tree combustion, and the potential for fallen pine needles to become a toddler delicacy, we decided to go for an artificial tree.

We learned early that waiting until later to purchase a tree saves you a ton of money, since the Boy Scouts and everyone else selling trees are eager to move them off of their lots the closer you get to Christmas. (Perhaps that was part of the motivation of both of our parental families in waiting until Christmas Eve to do the tree, but even if it was, it doesn’t matter, they still made Christmas magical.) Who knew, that this logic could also apply to artificial trees?

Imagine my delight when on December 22, 2006 my husband comes flying into the house, the look of glee upon his face, like a Christmas Elf with a slightly overactive pituitary gland, announcing, “Guess what I got?”  

“A Christmas bonus?”


“Our ornaments?” (My husband buys a pair of new ornaments, now three new ornaments, every year for each of our Christmases together.)

“Well, those too, but that’s not it.”

“I’m stumpped. What. What?

“Come see…”

I scooped up the little guy, and ran to the front door behind my husband who had practically skipped away before I could gather the child up.  Squished inside his Edge (that he’d only picked up about three days before) was a Christmas tree. It was pre-lit. It was huge. It was beautiful.

I put the baby in the exersaucer and helped him schlep it into the house…then he told me the story… .

“So, I went into Target to look at the trees. I walked around, thinking about it. They were marked down, but I couldn’t see spending close to $100 on a tree, and thought about picking up a real one instead. I walked back over to look again, and there was a guy, marking them down further, including the floor model, which was marked down from $200-and-change to $65 ‘as is.’ So I took it. The guy unplugged it, loaded it up on a dolly, wheeled it to check-out, and after I paid, he even helped me load it into the car.”

I was amazed at my husband’s bargain-eye, his patience, and ability to wedge himself in and say, “I’ll take it” before any other onlooking tree-seekers could mentally calculate the savings. (I knew he’d learned something in the last few years of marriage. 😉 )

So there it was…a nearly six-foot tree, sparkling with tiny white lights, ready to be adorned with the ornaments. It was a bit dusty from standing in the store, showing itself to hopeful passersby for months, but nothing my trusty Dyson couldn’t handle. And after a quick vacuum, her “leaves” were as good as new. So the tree got a good home, we got a killer steal and one that after this Christmas will make the investment zero-out when we think of what we would have spent in two years on real trees. There was no balsam in the air…at least not until I lit some holiday candles…but the tree was just as Christmassy as any real tree would have been.  

Copyright © 2007 Erika-Marie S. Geiss



1. Arachne Jericho - December 20, 2007

That’s an awesome story! 😀

Maybe I should wait for my pre-lit Christmas tree, too. 🙂 (Christmas tree or not won’t break my Christmas, but it’s just nice to have one.)

2. Writing the Cyber Highway - December 21, 2007

Ah, I LOVED this story! I’m SO glad you decided to share it with us. I pictured it all as you painted the scene so nicely with your lively words:-)


3. Melaniehoo - December 21, 2007

My parents bought a pre-lit tree a few years back and they love it! Makes clean up much easier, too.

As a fellow bargain hunter, I can appreciate the joy you felt with your husband’s quickness. 🙂

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