Takes Tree to Tango; Mental Cost-Benefit Analysis Helps Decide between Wood and Plastic

Article excerpt

I HAD good intentions of getting our Christmas tree up in time for December 1 so I could start decorating it.

And I reckon I could have followed through with it too, if only The Farmer and I could have agreed on what sort of tree we would have.

I rang him on my way home one Thursday night a few weeks ago and told him I was going to take advantage of late-night shopping to upgrade our plastic Christmas tree a which, while adequate for when we just used to celebrate between the two of us, doesnat quite do the job when we have more family coming to visit.

aI thought we were going to have a real tree this year,a The Farmer protested.

aOh. I thought you were joking about that,a I replied.

aNo, I wasnat joking. Oh, go on then. Just ignore what I want and get your rubbish plastic tree,a he whined.

I should interrupt for a second and explain that, while The Farmer isnat exactly the Christmas Grinch, he could be described as the Christmas Grump. And as a horticulturist, he loves trees and has always felt that if he had to get involved in Christmas, at least he could do it with something he liked to look at, rather than a plastic impostor.

I did a quick mental cost-benefit analysis: wead have to wait weeks to get the tree so it didnat die, Christmas spirit would be put on hold, Iad be the one left to clean up all the fallen pine needles, but The Farmer would get his way and might be a trifle easier to deal with throughout December.

It was worth it for that last point alone a a real Christmas tree it would be.

But last weekend, as we were over at a friendas place and admiring their Christmas tree (well, I was, anyway), the subject of our own tree came up. …