Is an artificial Christmas tree an acceptable alternative?

Yes

The potential perils of bringing a live tree into your home for the holidays are well documented in Chevy Chase's "Christmas Vacation."

The frustrations his character, Clark Greaseball — I mean Griswold — endured should be shared by no other human during the holiday season.

Now maybe there is something to be said about tradition. Maybe something deep inside us yearns to trek out through the arctic air and snow, hatchet in hand. Maybe there is something still appealing in this modern age about chopping down the tree you think will probably fit into your living room and dragging it back to your car.

 Read the previous paragraph again. If you find that scenario less appealing, don't worry, there is an easy way out: Go synthetic. 

Artificial trees are shedless, scentless and maintenance free apparatuses under which all of your holiday goodies will safely await the big day. And you don't have to worry about a critter hitching a ride indoors.

Faux trees are as varied and customizable as a new car. Colors, shapes and decorations can all be changed to meet your holiday demands. Prices range from less than $40 to whatever you are willing to pay.

Maybe you don't have a cigar-smoking uncle who likes to loiter by the holiday pine tree dropping hot ash as seen in "Christmas Vacation" — but that doesn't mean you can't take the easy way out this year.

(City Editor Rick Kazmer can be reached at rickk@dailyamerican.com. Read his blog, "The Kazmer Report," at dailyamerican.com. Smartphone users can access the blog by scanning the QR code at left.)
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