Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Susan Reimer
Today in my garden column in The Baltimore Sun, I tell the story of the aluminum Christmas tree my father installed one holiday -- he worked his entire career for Alcoa -- and take up the debate: real tree vs. artificial.
I make the point that trees are to Christmas what stuffing is to Thanksgiving. If you have a family tradition in either area, you risk rebellion if you try to change things up.
There is another thing about stuffing and Christmas trees.
I have always liked the stuffing more than the turkey.....and the ornaments more than the tree.
One other Christmas tree story before Garden Variety signs off for a couple of days of food and family.
Garden Variety's neighbor, Bob the gardener, has always had a live tree, root ball and all, and he has planted his trees in the neighborhood park every year after Christmas.
Garden Variety always returned to Pittsburgh for Christmas -- this is the first time in 31 years we haven't made it -- and, invariably, Bob the gardener would come out of the house just as we were pulling out of the neighborhood, car packed, for the drive home.
He would ask Garden Variety's husband and son to help him get his live tree, root ball and all, up the steps and into the house before we pulled out of town.
Garden Variety's son could do that all by himself today without breathing heavy. But for all those years, it was two dads and two young sons trying to get a heavy-as-lead tree up the steps.
As Christmas traditions go, it was as good as any!