We always had a real tree until I was about 8 or 9. That year we were living in a small flat in Berlin and my parents came home with an artificial tree. I think the tree came from a large cash and carry in the French sector. My sister and I were never allowed in, we had to sit in the car outside while my parents shopped (not a very unusual thing back then, though it seems shocking now). The tree looked quite real – the branches had to be assembled and were adjustable. It looked like a blue spruce which is still my favorite Christmas tree. I last saw that tree in 1993 – I haven’t been home since then. I really miss that tree and all the lovely Christmases we had around it.
My own children have grown up with real trees cut from our own land. They are Charlie Brown trees, but we love them anyway. Karl and the boys usually pick out a tree, cut it down and carry it home before realising that although the tree looked tiny out in the woods, it is far too big to fit in the house. Limbs are removed, sections of truck cut away, usually the tip goes too (thank goodness we have a large star to cover up the wounds) and by the time it is set up everyone is rather tired of the tree and thinking the “other” one would have been a better choice. Once the decorations are in place, though, everyone agrees that this really is the best tree ever!