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December 25th, 2011

Keeping Christmas Fake

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This article originally appeared in the insert of this week’s Albion New Era newspaper:

When I was a kid, we had a fake Christmas tree that no one bothered even pretending might be real.

            It was an aluminum pole with holes in it, like a great silver stick. We’d take the arrow-straight branches out of their paper tubes, fluff out the bright, unnaturally green “needles” of shredded aluminum, and stick them in the holes. Then we’d hang ornaments: Plain balls and bells of difference sizes. Multi-colored lights went on, as did, naturally, tinsel.


I had no idea we were part of a fad that started in 1958, when the Aluminum Specialty Company launched this idea of selling “Permanent Trees” – a fad that faded out at about the same time I discovered the truth about Santa. Ours was a totally artificial bright green; my grandmother’s was white. Not white as in covered with artificial snow – all white.Collapse )

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