Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just Curious: Christmas trees and shows!

It's time to lighten things up once again, with a new Just Curious! Feel free to answer one or both!

1) Is your Christmas tree fake or real?

2) What was/is your favorite childhood TV Christmas special?

My answers:

1) Well, this year and last year we've had one fake tree and one real tree.

Growing up, my family always had a real tree. Dean and I always got a real tree as well, until a few years back when we decided that it was sort of a pain and a mess to deal with. So, we got one of those fiberoptic fakies, and we were mesmerized!! It lasted a couple of years, then we tossed it because it got ugly.

So, back to real trees it was, for a couple more years. However, we are not good at aesthetics here in the Miller home, so our real trees were truly.... sad looking. Small, thin, sorta Charlie Brownish, which is not good with a high ceiling. After successive years of hearing complaints (now there's the Christmas spirit!), Dean surprised us with a brand new fake tree last year, and it was... not impressive. We all demanded humbly requested that the poor man get us a real tree. After much defensive annoyance thoughtful reflection, Dean agreed. We decided to move the fake tree to the dining room, and I bought a bunch of cheap, pretty Target ornaments to gussy it up! With the lower ceiling, it looked great! The new, real tree went up in the living room and also looked good! So, now we have a brand new tradition of having two trees -- one fake and one real.

2) When I grew up, it was ABC, NBC and CBS -- and that was pretty much it. But back then, programming was still okay for families, and so it was enough. I loved, loved, loved the Christmas specials! I loved Rudolph, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the SnowmanThe Grinch Who Stole Christmas (cartoon version, of course!), and the one with Mr. Heatmiser and his icy brother. But the one that really got me in the heart was Nestor The Long-Eared Donkey. It seemed to disappear over the past couple of decades, and although I almost forgot about it, I still had a vague memory of Nestor now and again. To my delight, I found it again last year! Even though it is a tear-jerker, I have to give it top prize!

Sorry, those were long answers.

Okay, how about you?


  1. I much prefer real trees and we did have one last year, but I just can't physically handle the it's a fake one this year. I hereby (insert strikethrough here)demand(/close strikethrough) humbly request that Dean fly here with a real tree for us...and that he come back for clean-up.

    Rudolph was my favorite but the Grinch is good, too. Drummer Boy was only on here one year that I recall and I didn't get to see it so I was mad. Never heard of Nestor. (Please don't yell.) Got tired of Frosty after the first two years. Much prefer Jesus to all that stuff.

  2. P.S. To clarify, yes, even then I preferred Jesus to that stuff....which explains why I was so mad that I didn't get to watch The Little Drummer Boy.

  3. Lisa, it seems that political correctness is behind the disappearance of Nestor and Drummer Boy. Both dealt directly with (gasp!) the Nativity of Jesus... so, they pretty much got the boot once political correctness set in.
    Check out Satan's blog on my blog roll and see how ridiculous it's gotten in England. Crazy.

  4. We have a REAL tree and it is very special to me! I always had a fake one growing up and never got to experience picking out a tree or the wonderful way it makes the whole house smell. When we got married Ted insisted we get a real tree-he had never had a fake one! I loved the idea and love our third real tree together.

    My favorites were the classic Frosty and Rudolph. As a kid, I quoted the line "no money, no ticket!" and my parents just thought I was the cutest thing ever.

  5. We have a fake tree. :) I never had a real tree growing up, so I have no idea how to take care of them and I've heard they're messy (is that true?).

    Growing up, I also loved Rudolph and Frosty. :) My favorite though, was that one with those two guys that were trying to stop Christmas...I think they were called the Misers? There was the Heat Miser and the Snow Miser, and they sang songs and my sister and I used to sing them all the time. lol Does anybody know what I'm talking about? :)

  6. We don't have real trees. We have one fake old-timer that might last forever. The only ornaments it has are on the top 2 feet so the kids can't reach them and the rest is full of paper "ornaments" the kids make and tear up daily. It's interactive. LOL.

    Little Drummer Boy for sure is my favorite! I like the "Little Match Girl" too (book).

  7. 1) Mine is fake, for ease of maintenance. But I prefer real, which we've not had in many, many years. When I was little, we'd get the real ones with the long, soft needles, and every year before we decorated I would give the tree a hug. :)

    2) That's a toss up between Rudoplh, Charlie Brown, and the animated Grinch. LOVE those. But my overall favorite (which really isn't a childhood favorite since I only saw it for the first time a few years ago) is It's a Wonderful Life.

    3) Bonus question that you did not ask but I'll tell you anyway: My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. Closely followed by What Child Is This :)

  8. I grew up with a real tree, and it made for some of my fondest Christmas memories. My stepdad hauling in the HUGE 12-footer (we had cathedral ceilings), the smell, the special time spent together picking the perfect tree out.

    My father also always did real trees and then there were the years on my grandparents' farm, trekking through the woods to cut down a cedar tree.

    So honestly, given how much production I observed growing up for real trees, I was surprised last year when I had no trouble putting up a real tree... even as a single woman living three stories up. :) I picked a 6-footer that I could easily lift myself. And I loved just throwing away the tree when it was all done because I had no storage.

    I didn't find it that messy either??

    This year, Hubby and I also did the real tree, and again, I found setting it up to be enjoyable (but again, it's merely 6-7 ft). No real mess yet. I doubt we'll switch to fake any time soon, if ever, as neither of our families ever went that route.

  9. I haven't ever had a tree in my own place, mostly because I spend most of the holiday weeks at either my parents house or one of my brothers' houses. When my husband and I were dating, we'd get a real tree for his place and decorate it with his daughter, complete with his ornaments plus ornaments that I had that were gifts from people.

    My husband and I wanted to get a tree this year, since we'll be mostly home-bound because of the impending birth of our second child, but we went to the storage place and decided it was too much trouble to dig for all of the ornaments. I wouldn't go buy new stuff this year either, since I'd just have to store it. (I'm a minimalist at heart.)

    I have to say, I don't not get a tree because of my secular leanings. Mostly it is because I'm the sort of person who doesn't see much use in storing decorations (we both have very few), spending time to put them out, and spending time to put them back. I feel the same way about other holidays throughout the year. Likely as our son and his expected brother get older, we'll get trees again like we did with my stepdaughter when she was younger. (FYI, my stepdaughter and her mother celebrate Solstice, not Christmas.)

    I still call the holidays "Christmas" - I briefly considered celebrating Solstice or Yule or something, but frankly I get two days off on Christmas and Christmas Eve, and that's when my family gets together to celebrate. However, as you can guess, for me it is more about being together with family.

  10. Real tree!! We get the smallest tree we can since we live in a chopped up Cape Cod. I love fraser fir trees- they are so pretty!

    Favorite Christmas programs are Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Year without a Santa Claus (my DH is a TV junkie and I just had to ask him what the actual names of these shows are). Heatmiser is in the second show I mentioned. I love Nestor too.

  11. Real tree! A nice Fraser fir, which we chop down ourselves in the snow while wearing parkas (oh, wait... no, we didn't do that... we bought it at Home Depot in 70 degree weather while wearing short sleeves). But it is real, either way.

    I loved Frosty. And as a kid, I liked Charlie Brown. As a mom, I DO NOT like Charlie Brown. I let Clare watch it while I was making dinner the other night, and she now calls our pets, her brother, inanimate objects "stupid" because they say it several times in the show. That's ridiculous for a kid show, in my opinion.

  12. Fake tree! Doug and I actually have Beth's old tree. They went for the real one and we got their fake one! Worked out great. We had a fake tree growing up too. I have thought about going real... but, like God Alone Suffices, I have NO idea how to care for a real one. Plants die the instant they enter my house, so I don't know what would happen with a tree!

    I loved Frosty and Rudolph. But I REALLY loved the Andy Williams Christmas Special in 1985. Never heard of it?? Its on You Tube! It had all the Cosby Kids, Punky Brewster and gang, Joey Lawrence, etc. I was obsessed! Then, the VHS tape was broken due to overuse. So sad. :(

    And Hebrews... O Holy Night is my favorite too!!

  13. MaiZeke - I am with you on being a minimalist. :) I bought some cartons to try to keep our Christmas stuff organized and tamed (we live in a one-bedroom apartment). In regards to calling it Christmas... in my family, it's the Christians who don't want a tree and don't want to call it Christmas!!

  14. 1) Real, unless we are going to be away for most of the holiday

    2) Rudolph & Charlie Brown, but mostly I love(d) all the music shows; Tree lightings in New York and Washington.

  15. 1. We do a real tree. Hubby used to walk into the woods behind his house growing up and cut one down, so he's really not a fan of the fake ones. He complains enough about having to buy one from a lot... I love the real ones myself - they smell so good and I don't mind the messy needles :).
    2. I saw the classic movie pack at Costco and almost bought it! I used to love all of those movies as a kid. We'd watch them every year. I know it's not a Christmas TV special, but our other tradition is watching White Christmas as a family. I just watched it yesterday while addressing Christmas cards, and it always puts a smile on my face :).

  16. I've always had a fake tree and love it. My favorite moves were the ones already said here, Rudolph, Little drummer boy, and it's a Wonderful Life.

    Now one of my favorites is White Christmas with Bing Crosby.

  17. WE have a fake tree b/c we travel. Love the childhood memories of going to a farm and chopping one down! One day...

    Love White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life! :)

  18. 1) Is your Christmas tree fake or real?

    Fake, but there's a nice story attached. During our first Christmas in AZ, I was brokenhearted because our budget was really tight (we'd both just started new jobs) and we just couldn't afford to spend the money for a tree. My husband's grandparents and mother went out and bought a pre-lit fake tree secondhand, snuck into our house, and set it up for us one day in early December. I was so incredibly happy.

    Sadly, the lights on it are starting to die so we may have to invest in a new one soon (maybe we'll snag one via after-Christmas sales this year). We also have high ceilings so maybe we'll do the real deal one of these years. We always had real when I was a kid and I loved it.

    2) What was/is your favorite childhood TV Christmas special?

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I also loved A Charlie Brown Christmas.

    My kids have really gotten into Mickey's Christmas Carol. This is a frequent refrain in our house -

    Elanor: "Scrooooooooooooooooooooge!"

    William: "Jacob Marley?!"

    It's hilarious.

    The DVD with Mickey's Christmas Carol on it also has Don Bluth's "Small One." LOVE it.

  19. 1. Fake-every year growing up and still now.
    2. White Christmas
    Our traditions involved tryiing not to screw up the tree assembly and mom sneeking back at night to redo it so it looked a little bit like a real tree.
    Hubby and I know watch Family Christmas every year. A child with autism I worked with got me hooked. so funny! "Watch out for the icy patch!" And who doesn't love the sweedish chef?!

  20. Man, there are a lot of real tree people out there! It's fake for us because of my allergies. Go figure!

    Growing up my FAVORITE Christmas show was the Charlie Brown Christmas. Hands down best. It's hilarious and they read scripture! Doesn't get any better. Now it's my son's favorite.

    But now, as an adult, my favorite is It's a wonderful life. Love it!

  21. 1) We always had a fake tree. There was almost always a little one in the house so it was probably to keep one area of the house clean and to keep us from eating pine (it just smells so good!).

    2) We always watched the specials - Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolph, etc. I can't say I was ever a fan of them - probably because the same thing was on every year! My favorite thing to watch at Christmas though is White Christmas :) Just love it!

  22. 1. This year we have a fake tree because our first baby is due the 27th, and we didn't want to deal with cleaning up pine needles and a newborn. But we both like having a real tree -- my DH cut ours down last year!

    2. My favorites are It's a Wonderful Life and Muppets' Christmas Carol.

  23. 1) Our main tree is real (Mr JB always had real trees growing up) and I can't imagine having a fake one! We've been buying a Fraser fir for the past few years and it is totally worth the price. I also put up a fake, pre-lit tree in our bedroom, it isn't decorated, but I love seeing it in the room! We used to have a fake tree in the basement too, but we gave it away when we purged for the basement reno.

    2) My favourite is Rudolph!! The island of misfit toys kills me every time! I also have a soft spot for "Love, Actually" since it was the first movie that I saw with the hubs!

  24. 1) We have a fake christmas tree. Grew up with a real one though! some point my parents switched to a fake one too =). When we have kids I absolutely want to participate in picking out our tree though (as long as they aren't allergic of course ;)).
    2) Every Christmas I used to watch the movies Miracle on 34th Street and Prancer. Classic late 80's, early 90's movies. Ha. Hmmm, I kind of want to watch them now.

  25. 1) Funny story here :) (don't I always have a STORY? hahaha)... I grew up with real ones but we decided if we bought a fake one it'd save us money in the long run. So we spend quite a long time picking one out last year, and was TOO TALL for our house. HAHAHAHA. Opposite problem of everyone else???.. We took a "layer" out of it and used it last year, but this year Ryan put it up and said "that looks so stupid!" and took it back down. Then, because of a gift from a friend, we were able to go out and get a real one :)... and I'm allergic to it. HAHAHAHA again! It seems to bother me less as time passes though. Phew ;) I told Ryan maybe as it continues to die more and more, I am less allergic? haha..No idea. A friend of mine said he saw in some article that people who think they are allergic to Christmas trees are actually allergic to the mold/crap that can be on the tree! Gross! (I am allergic to a lot of trees though)
    2) I always loved Rudolph, Frosty, and I do remember Nestor and really liking that, too...and the Mr Heatmiser one haha I remember that! So fun.. I have been searching for them on tv lately and can't find any! :( Ryan keeps saying "Mary, there are never any Christmas shows on," every time but I try anyway!

  26. 1. We always had real trees! It just isn't the same with an artificial one. The first year we were married, our apartment didn't allow real trees so we had to use an artificial one. I had tree envy whenever I would see a real tree. I burned the heck out of my Yankee Candles that year, and I was SO happy to move and have a real tree the following year!! :)

    2. I loved The Santa Clause, with Tim Allen, and I also grew up watching A Christmas Story and White Christmas every year. :) TBS's 24 hours of A Christmas Story is always a part of our family celebrations each year. :)

  27. 1. Main one is real and it would kill me to have to go fake. We grew up with real ones until Dad passed away and mom could not lug one by herself (she's tiny!) so she opted for fake. When we got married, R insisted on real - big & fat - and I'm glad he did. I love it being slightly different every year, I love picking it out (2nd week of Advent - always), and the smell. Foyer one is fake b/c bloggers would kill me if I climbed a ladder every 2 days to water a real one.

    2. I'd have to ask mom if there was anything I liked. I just do not recall. Now, we watch ALL of them (just about) leading up to Christmas. Can't forget Christmas Vacation!

  28. Fake tree.

    And A Christmas Story. That movie is highly responsible for the shaping of my sense of humor ;) But now it's a tie for favorite with It's A Wonderful Life.

  29. TCIE I LOOOVE It's a Wonderful Life...but I thought Leila was just asking about the shows that were/are on TV/TV specials or whatnot so I left it out. Ah such a good movie. :) I want to get it to have to watch every year (I did see it on tv this year though! yay!)

  30. 1) Fake - grew up with one so its what im used to. Also - i love to decorate right after Thanksgving so i wouldnt think a real one would last that long!

    2) Emmett Otters Jugband Christmas - my absolute favorite!! I still know all the songs by heart and just love the story!


  31. And this is what happens when you go away for a month; it's Christmas in July! Trees--fake, all my life. I can't even remember to water the plants; a real tree would never survive at my house! Though to those who ask if a real tree is too messy--I vacuum needles every year, so. . . ? Movies--die hard fan of A Muppet Christmas Carol. It was my first Michael Caine movie (brilliant actor), and he is hands-down my favorite Scrooge. Satisfies the urge for a serious feel-good movie, whimsical cartoonishness, good music, and the mandatory annual viewing of some version of A Christmas Carol all in one neat little package. :) Don't ask me about music; it's too hard to choose! Though A Christmas Letter would probably come out near the top. :)


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