The Beloved, Real, Christmas Tree
I’m betting you’ve never heard of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board (CTPB). They’re a national promotion and research organization funded by assessments on the sale of cut Christmas trees from North American Christmas Tree Growers. Their message to you slackers who are putting up artificial trees as we speak is this: It's Christmas. Keep it real.
The thought of plopping down an artificial tree with lights and ornaments intact is tempting (if unsatisfying). And many people (52%) think they’re doing the environment a favor by reusing the same ornament hanger year-after-year and not cutting down trees.
But according to the CTPB, they would be wrong.
For every Christmas tree that is cut down, growers plant 1-3 trees in their place.
And that stunning artificial tree of yours? It will remain stunning for quite a while, decorating a landfill for some 1000 years.
But live trees, with their ability to conjure up the happiest of memories with their pungent smell and dripping sap, are constantly working on our behalf, cleaning the air around us while displaying cherished ornaments and dazzling lights.
And when the holiday is over, instead of packing up an artificial tree in a plastic sack headed for the basement, we can put our cut trees out on the curb to be picked up and transformed into mulch for spring gardens.
Live trees don’t come with a 1000-Year Warranty but they are 100% recyclable.
Many of the aging Baby Boomers are answering the siren call of the artificial tree. The kids are gone. The been-there-done-that ennui is setting in. And their lower backs are giving out.
But there’s still hope for live cut Christmas trees.
The CTPC’s “keep it real” message is targeted directly at this younger, less jaded audience, appealing to their love of all-things-natural: The beloved, real, Christmas tree...The smell, the touch, the authenticity and joy that simply cannot be manufactured.”
A “25 days of keeping it real” social media campaign features a consumer website that uses an Advent Calendar concept to reveal something new and different every day — home delivery links, personal “choose and cut” videos, humorous memes, a Free Trees for Life Sweepstakes, an Authentic Christmas Instagram Challenge, cookie recipes, celebrity event announcements, and socially-conscious messaging.
And while you’re out holiday shopping, there’s a chance you could run into “treevangelists” wearing specially designed real tree rigs (with watering cups) on their heads, who are spreading the word about the environmental benefits of real trees while building the Christmas spirit and taking “zillions” of selfies.
My real Christmas tree will go up on December 15th. The same date it goes up every year.
And just like every year before it, it will be a backbreaking, time-consuming, tedious chore that will reward me with a joy that simply can’t be manufactured.