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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Oh, Christmas Tree....

Oh, Christmas Tree

It used to be that Christmas trees were real trees brought at a lot on the corner. I could hardly wait until we got ours and could drag out the boxes of shinny glass ornaments from the dime store to decorate it. It was covered with tinfoil tinsel and brought the piney smell of the forest inside.

The lights seldom worked. If one went out, the whole string did. We spent most of Christmas trying to find and replace the burned out bulbs. It usually had a crooked trunk, and just getting the thing to stand up in the flimsy tree stand was a challenge.

Then real trees fell from favor and were replaced by aluminum trees with blue balls and wheels of color that changed constantly. These silver rainbow trees were about the ultimate in beauty, we thought.

But artificial aluminum tackiness didn’t last long and plastic tackiness set in with trees that looked real, but were not. These trees had about a million limbs to assemble every year with directions that always became lost after the first time.

Monsterous plastic tress with miniature lights that would not melt the phony needles took over the living rooms of America. But now it seems that even a monster tree is not enough.

“I have three trees,” said a girlfriend at work, “one for the living room one for the den and one in the bedroom. It’s white with red, white and blue ornaments,” she said, “for election year.”

Theme trees are all the rage. Old fashioned trees with a hodge-podge of ornaments are out. Now trees must be color-coordinated, have a theme, and match the décor of the home. Sort of takes all the fun out of it when home decorators take over the tree.

“We have seven trees,” said one of the managers. “My favorite is the Titan tree.” He then elaborated on the other tree themes as well. The latest trend, though, is “pencil” trees, not because of the ornaments (thank goodness), but because the trees are tall and skinny to work in smaller size modern homes and apartments.

Trees now come not only in traditional green colors and white, but in blue, pink, and purple. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“I used to have a pink tree in the bathroom,” said my spirit-filled friend at work. A tree in the bathroom? I don’t think so. Enough is enough! And one tree is enough for me. I even down-sized this year to a table-top tree. Yes, bah, humbug. No more monster tree. Sorry, but I’m tired of a Christmas jungle.

Actually, it is rather cute, even if it is pre-lit. It has all my old wooden ornaments and is quaint, even if it is small. We decorate it every morning and the cat undecorates it every night. Maybe she prefers a different theme.

As far as I’ve heard, seven in one house is a record. That’s probably more than Wal-Mart has in the Christmas department. With seven trees, Santa wouldn’t even know where to leave the presents.

Sometimes I miss the old days of live trees, but I don’t miss cleaning needles out of the carpet for months afterwards.

I think I have two or three old trees somewhere in the attic. If I start now, I might be able to put them all up before Christmas. Want to help? I didn’t think so. Now I remember another reason why I have only one tree.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

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