One of my fondest memories of Christmas time and childhood is the annual trek out to the Downtown Optimist Club tree lot to select the family tree.My father never took part in this ritual, so it was just my mom and I on a quest to find that perfect fir tree, I lived in such a sheltered world. I had no idea that Christmas trees came in other flavors than fir.

My mom always let me make the final decision. I'm sure we must have had some pretty awful trees, but they all look kind of pretty once we load them up with decorations. I remember one year that the tree I picked out was so misshaped that we had wires hidden behind it to make it even stand up.

I've always been a died in the wool "real tree" person. I can't stand fake trees. Of course, I have had a couple of fake ones in my life, but I'm still a "real tree" person. As far as I knew back then, all our neighbors had real trees. There was one notable exception to that remark. My best friend, Pat McClure. One day, Pat called me all excited becasue they had just put up their tree. I rushed over to Pat's house and what did I see when I walked in? An aluminum tree with a "color wheel" providing the lighting.

I have to tell you that I was only about 8 or 10 years old, but I felt downright indignant. I felt a little betrayed. "My best friend is a fake tree guy", I thought as I gazed upon the metal, lifeless, fake tree. It had no soul.

That was a long time ago and I've had a few fake trees in my life, but I still love going to the lot and picking out the perfect tree. How about you? Do you and your partner ever argue about what kind pf tree you'll have?

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