Holiday Mainstay – A Tree At 50


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.



4 thoughts on “Holiday Mainstay – A Tree At 50

    • Fake trees evidently have quite a history, with Sears starting to sell them in the 1880s. This style seems to have originated in England, first made by a toilet brush company. I am sure that there is someone out there who has me beat.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Merry Christmas to you as well.

    My Mom has a similar tree. It originally was used by a couple of her aunts, and then we got it at some point in the ’80s I think.

    We put a real tree in the Family room with all the traditional (and tacky 😉 ) family ornaments, and the artificial one goes in front of the big living room window with red & white lights, and an assortment of tasteful red ornaments.

    I assume that it dates back at least to the early ’60s as the shipping label on the box does not include a zip code. The branches have held up quite well, but some of the holes in the wood pole eventually wore to the point that the lower branches wouldn’t stay up. I was able to repair these and reinforce the joint in the middle with brass tubing. A new coat of green paint, and it should be good for another 50 years. 🙂


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