December 3rd, 2011
07:00 AM ET

Letters to the President #1048: 'Tree time!'

Reporter's Note: The president helped light the White House Christmas tree the other night. We’ll be getting around to ours this weekend, but I don’t think he’ll be stopping over to throw the switch.

Dear Mr. President,

I think we’re going to get our Christmas tree this weekend. We remain a “real” Christmas tree family, despite the steady tide of people opting for artificial alternatives. I like to say we’re “organic celebrants.” That confuses the heck out of some of our more holistic neighbors. Ha!

Anyway, each year around this time we go in search of the perfect centerpiece for our Christmas festivities. For the past several years that has taken us to a lot next to our church, where a very nice family from Virginia brings in a spectacular array of wonderful trees. Honestly, they are all so uniform, full, and lovely, we could hardly go wrong if we tried.

Now, if you are feeling squeamish, as some folks do over the idea of cutting down a real tree, I see no reason for such concerns. “Live” Christmas trees (or as we might more properly call them “recently dead”) are planted specifically for this purpose, contrary to what some city folks might believe. They are harvested the same way we cut corn, soybeans, or broccoli; it just takes a little longer. In short, using a live tree is arguably more environmentally responsible than using a fake one, and in any event I’ve never heard one scream. And they, like a certain old uncle of mine who leaned a little heavy on the Old Spice, smell great!

All that said, I’ve never been entirely thrilled with the placement of our tree at home. We could put it into the living room, but contrary to the name we don’t do much “living” in there, so it would be a bit lost. We could put it in the family room, but with a roaring fireplace nearby that seems a little devil-may-care for even my occasionally reckless tastes. So we end up clearing a spot for it between the family room and the kitchen.

I suppose it works just fine there, and it can really be enjoyed in that location from almost any direction, but sometimes I wish we had a better spot in which it could sit and slowly turn brown between now and King’s Day. Still, come over if you have a chance and maybe you’ll have a better idea.

Now, if you’ll forgive me, I need to wrap this up and start sorting out the lights.



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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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