It's the Christmas season. The Christmas trees and decorations are up. Gifts are being bought and wrapped. Christmas-shaped cookies are being baked. Holiday music is being played on all of the radio stations.
It's only a matter of time before someone asks me, "So, did you put up a real Christmas tree or a fake one?" I'll be honest, I haven't put up a full-size tree of either kind in about 15 years. No, I'm not trying to be a scrooge. It's just that the last time I put up a 4-foot Christmas tree (a fake one), I came home from work to find my parrot, Bogie, perched in it. That was after I spent a good 10 minutes looking for her. She's green, she blended in well and I found her in it every day until I took it down. I decided then that my pet's safety was more important than having a 4-foot tree in the living room. With Jake and Buddy joining Bogie as my pets, I just settle for a small, 1-foot aluminum tree on top of the entertainment center, and that's if I get around to digging around my basement to find it and the ornaments.
In my whole life, I've never had a real tree for Christmas. I'm not sure why. I guess when I was a kid, my parents just didn't want to hassle with one. It was easier to put up a fake one than to deal with the real one. As an adult, I just went with what I was always accustomed to.
In the end, it's not what type of tree you put up that's important. At least not to me. It's time well spent with loved ones, family and friends. A time to remember loved ones no longer with us. It's time to brighten the day of someone, whether it be a neighbor or someone in a nursing home or anyone in need. Not everyone has a family to visit with them during the holiday.
Now if I can just figure out what is with all of the ugly holiday sweaters that I keep seeing...