What’s that tree doing in my living room!?


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As the passage of Thanksgiving officially starts the holiday season, many families have already begun buying Christmas trees. Decorating a tree as a family brings people together and gets everyone in the merry mood. “I like all the decorations and the spirit that comes along with it,” said Victoria Bruzik ‘20.

With the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier every year, it’s just about that time for many families to start the festive season by buying their Christmas tree.

For some, buying a Christmas tree is such a mindless tradition that they simply follow their usual routine. Whether bought from a local farm or dug out of the closet for another holiday season, they already know where they will get their tree.

For the people of the HB community, there are quite a few places to go to to buy a Christmas tree: Lull Farm, Brookdale Farm, Sunny Valley Farm, the Brookline Historical Society, and many more. No matter where you go, you’re sure to get a great tree, but sometimes at a not-so-great price. Ryan Farquhar ‘18 works at the Sunny Valley Farm and assists in selling Christmas trees around this time of the year. He thinks very highly of this tradition. “You go as a family and you all pick out a Christmas tree, and you bring it back home and decorate it. It’s nice family time, listening to Christmas music [and decorating the tree],” Farquhar said. Although, he did later admit that selling the trees is more about making money for him than participating in the tradition. In his experience, he’s found that Fraser and Balsam trees are the most popular, and that they’re typically bought at around six or seven feet tall. Here is a map of all the places that sell both real and artificial trees in the greater Hollis area.

Although not everyone is a fan of the authentic Christmas trees, both real and artificial trees have their perks. According to Victoria Bruzik ‘20, “[Artificial trees] are just easier, and you can use them year after year.” However, she likes the idea of Christmas trees for the same reason that Farquhar does, as she also thinks that they represent the festivities of the season quite well. These phony trees can be bought at most retailers this time of the year: Walmart, Target, the Christmas Tree Shop, etc. but if you really want to get a great deal, your best bet is to buy them after the holiday season when retailers need to get rid of them.

For a point of view of someone who doesn’t share a love for Christmas trees, there is Max Porter ‘18. He does not celebrate Christmas, and does not buy a Christmas tree during the holiday season. He doesn’t see the appeal, saying, “I don’t understand the fuss about them. They’re just trees you put in your home. It’s dumb.” However, Porter agreed with the fact that they are part of today’s Christmas experience.

Whether you think they are a sign of the gross commercialization of Christmas or just a cutesy tradition, Christmas trees have been an integral part of the American holiday season for decades. Yet despite being so wholly American, America did not start the Christmas tree tradition. Germany is often credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it, when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes beginning in the 16th century. One widely held belief is that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, was the first person to add lights to the tree, in the form of candles. In America, Christmas trees grew in popularity at the end of the 19th century, and are now almost synonymous with the very holiday they represents.

Whether you prefer a real or artificial tree, it seems that the American tradition of picking out and decorating a tree is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.