Not many people keep anything for fifty years. We live in a disposable culture, where the lure of the new bedazzles us into replacing what we have with something that we will replace again.
Holiday decorations are especially transient. It is not as though most of them are made to last, but even for something that is on display for no more than a month out of every year, we still tire of the old. Or maybe we get sucked in by the price of the stuff that goes on sale every December 26th.
This, however, is about a survivor. My Mother bought this artificial tree in 1967, and it sheltered all manner of fabulous gifts that year. I think that may have been the year that I got the Motorific Torture Track, the plastic track made for the battery-powered Motorific cars. All of which are long gone.
Let’s not quibble about counting. If fake Christmas trees celebrated birthdays, it’s 50th would not be until next year. Years of service, however, is another thing. I suppose one could argue that the one year it spent in its box (1993, if memory serves) makes birthday and years of service merge together, but that would make one a Grinch, wouldn’t it?
That one year that the tree spent in the box has always bothered me just a little. Unfortunately, it could not be helped. We got a new piece of furniture that took the place where the tree had sat, requiring a smaller tree. We still have that one too, which is now closing in on 25 years old. We solved the space problem by moving to a bigger house.
I like to think that by sticking with the same decorations for so long, we have emerged from the purgatory of “same old boring stuff” into the promised land of “retro”. While this was never our intent, I must admit that I have felt more pride in the old thing in recent years.
In 2012, I wrote a more in-depth history of our tree at Curbside Classic, so there is no sense in repeating what was said there. Just click the link and read it for yourself.
Please accept my wishes that each of you has a merry and blessed Christmas.