So this was a bit of a sad week, and not just because American Idol is back on the air again for yet another grueling season.  No, no – even far more tragic than thinking that anybody’s still going to watch that show without Simon, this week I experienced a little elimination round of my own, for this week I had to throw away my very first Christmas tree…

Well, the first Christmas tree that I bought here myself after moving to Florida seven years ago, anyways.  I’m pretty sure that my first first Christmas tree from 30 years ago is long gone by now, taken back by Mother Nature to decay into dirt and ground cover and nutrients for all sorts of other holiday trees and shrubberies.

That’s not nearly as likely to happen with this one though because, well frankly, it was fake and Mother Nature has very little use for metal and plastic in her great circle of life.  But still, it was a good tree while it lasted – easy to put together, not too big, and even easier to store away in a moderately sized box out in the garage between seasons.  A lot of Christmas tree purists out there complain that they can’t stand the sight of artificial trees, but unless they want to come over every two days to vacuum up needles and keep the thing watered on a regular basis, I think that artificial trees make for a marvelous holiday icon for the amount of effort involved!

Now what made this particular tree of mine unique was that instead of being your typical forest green in color as most trees artificial and actual tend to come, instead the one that I had picked out was in fact what I liked to refer to as an eye-catching snowy white, and although it did receive a small amount of criticism from those same purists who also apparently believe that Christmas trees should explicitly be green and only green, at the very least we could all agree that as a newly established resident here in the Sunshine State, it was the closest thing to a white Christmas that I was gonna get! Besides, it still decorated the same and Santa’s presents still fit underneath come Christmas morning just the same, so really, who am I to judge a tree by its color?

Well, maybe I shouldn’t say exactly that because in retrospect, I must admit that some seven years later I would’ve never expected that old Father Time would be so cruel to my beloved white Christmas tree over the years because it was in 2010 that I brought the box in from the garage and subsequently jumped back in horror to find that unless I had been recently dreaming of a yellow Christmas that particular year, my once beautiful, white tree was going to leave me quite disappointed and not nearly as merry and bright.  I mean, it was BAD, folks – kind of like a fresh, winter’s snow after the family dog has its way with it – and as much as I loved that old tree of mine, there was just no way that I could put that disgusting, yellow monstrosity up in our living room and actually admire it for the next month and a half!

Later that week we went out and bought a new tree that was decidedly not all old and musty and gross, and fortunately Christmas in the Sevener household went off without a hitch, but now that the holiday season is over and I’m finally remembering that I never actually got around to throwing the old tree away in the first place, the time has come to say goodbye to an old, admittedly dingy and dilapidated-looking friend who brought me many years of peace and love and of course, presents.  Old Whitey had a good run, and now I can only hope that in his newfound retirement he can continue to bring joy to others in some new way, like by not leaking harmful chemicals into the water table as he slowly decomposes at the city dump over the next couple of dozen years…

Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to close on a song that I put together in honor of my late Christmas tree – please feel free to sing along, as I think that you might recognize the verse.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How yellow are your branches?
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Seriously, how did your branches get so yellow?!

You once were white like winter’s snow,
But now you’re gross, and you’ve got to go.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely were thy branches…