There’s a raging debate going on in this country and I predict it’s going to dominate the national conversation for weeks to come.  As such, everyone has been imploring me to write about it.  

Snap Ginger!  Snap!

So far I’ve resisted the urge.  

Mostly because it’s really not my literary genre.  I try to address the lighter side of life.  And, if not the lighter side, at least the deeper more poignant reflective side. I have no interest in exploiting my platform by addressing the weighty matters that tear nice families apart and strain the dearest of friendships.    

Another reason I don’t want to “bog-the-blog” down by taking a firm stance is because I truly don’t have one.  My opinion is often based on the views of the very last person I spoke to and their personal point of view.  

I listen to the pros and cons they put forth and that’s how I feel, at least until I talk to the next person who throws another set of contradictory views at me. 

I can often be heard bragging that I’m, “chameleon-esque” ie: brown on the bark and green on the leaf!   Some might call this “spineless,” I prefer to think of myself as, “flexible.”  

The truth is, on any given day, I can see both sides of the argument:

Artificial Christmas trees look just like the real ones, they come pre-lit, are easy to assemble, hypo-allergenic and once you invest in them you can rely on them every year.  Or can you?

But, on the other hand, I can make a helluva case for getting a real tree.  The sentimental ritual of slogging out to the tree farm year-after-year with the fam, selecting the perfect tree, stringing the lights, the smell of fresh pine…

And the passion this topic incites!  The folks who make these arguments feel so strongly.  It’s just so polarizing.  I mean they vehemently claim that’s how their families have done it since they came over from the North Pole on the Mayflower.  Why, it’s just the way they were raised!  There’s nothing to think about here, they’ll do what the generations before them have always done.  

And we definitely want to figure out if we are buying artificial trees made in China!  I do believe if we commit to a real Christmas tree, there’s a good chance it was grown here in the good old U S of A?  Unless they’re importing them from Canada?   Anyway, now I’m bogging-the-blog down in these weighty political matters I always swore I would never delve into.  

Jimmy and I were all over the map on Christmas tree selection.  I’m not trying to make lame excuses for us, but there were just so many other details dragging us down, that we simply failed to set a clear and firm example for our youngsters. We vacillated on this issue depending on the region of the country we were living in, attic accessibility, Jimmy’s mood that year and whether the pre-lit lights were cooperating.  They usually weren’t.  Expletives were always a part of the decision making process, as you might imagine.

As a result of our parental shortcomings,  my adult children have been texting me lately for maternal guidance.  Naturally, with 5 offspring, we don’t really have a quorum.  The married daughters in houses may opt for a real tree (did I warn them that they have to water the tree and the needles turn brown and drop by December 20th?)  the kids in apartments may go artificial pre-lit (yes, I can probably squeeze it in my storage unit during the remaining 11 months). 

They may reach out to us occasionally for advice, but the truth is, they’re going to do what they’re going to do. As empty-nesters, it’s time to accept the fact that we can’t tell our adult kids how to think.  I actually haven’t been able to tell my kids how to think since they were 3.  It’s such a comfort to look back over what Jimmy used to refer to as “Body of Work,” meaning there’s no need to get dragged down in the daily minutiae of our kids’ choices after we’re all done raising them. If we’ve done our job well over the course of time, they’ll be equipped to make good decisions when it’s lofty decision-making time.

Like everyone else, I’m just ready for the decisions to be decided, so the next season can commence.  You know, the season of Peace and Joy.   I’m picturing that final scene from The Grinch movie where we are all holding hands around whatever tree we selected and caroling our collective hearts out…because no matter what, it’s going to be OUR TREE and it’s going to be lit!