Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Christmas Tree



Every year I put up a Christmas Tree, for whatever reason, I always do this instead of my wife. After twenty years of discussion with her, I bought an artificial tree. She always complained about the needles in the living room, and thought that it was environmentally bad to get a natural tree. I never believed that natural trees were harmful, since they are a renewable resource, but I got worn down. I also hated driving the old tree to the dump.

The tree that I bought was a "9' GE Just Cut Aspin Tree," which appears to be made by GE, but is actually sold by a company called Santa's Best Craft in Wisconsin. I suspect the tree was made in China, but it did not say so in the packaging. "Santa's Best" is an actual brick and mortar company in Manitowoc (Wisconsin). The tree is made of PVC, and seems to be dioctyl phthalate-free. It has flexible molded PVC tips and less expensive PVC roll-stock garland branches inside. The PVC is not flammable, so it is safer than a natural tree. Since I used to work in phthalate-free plasticizers, I am interested in what plasticizer they are using, probably something like trioctyl trimellitate, but I'm guessing.

I bought the tree at Lowes, and it was on sale Thanksgiving weekend. The following weekend, Lowes had their whole Christmas stock on half-off -- a new example of rushing the season. I got it on sale. I was thinking about deflation while I was buying it -- if I would have waited another weekend I would have saved more.

After I put the tree up, I did not like it. The tree seemed too even and perfect. When I am right up next to it, it looks artificial. The new tree looks better from across the room than close up.