Arrow-right Camera
News >  Features

The Slice: For many, fake trees a bunch of bologna

After last Sunday’s column, The Slice heard from readers who remember when artificial Christmas trees were the latest thing.

“We were one of the cool, modern families who purchased an aluminum Christmas tree (complete with electric color wheel) in the 1960s,” wrote Karen Estes. “My brother and I had a short period of mourning for the fragrance, atmosphere and bubble lights of a real tree, but then we resumed our busy teenage lives.”

Not everyone in her household took the transition in stride, however.

“Our cat checked it out thoroughly, but never again curled up for naps underneath the Christmas tree. I think that says it all right there.”

Randy Peterschick remembers when aluminum trees were a sign of affluence. “The real clincher was the color wheel off to the side, or two if you really had money to burn. One house I remember actually had the metal tree on a turntable, with two color wheel lights.”

Sharon Cassens had an aunt with a rotating aluminum tree just like that. “I knew even then this was not a good thing,” she wrote.

Jay Dudley said he remembers being the only family on the block with a fake tree. “When people went by our house they gawked and laughed.”

But it eventually grew on him.

Tom Cronin recalls that a neighbor across the street in the early 1960s had an aluminum tree bathed in colored light. “It drove my father nuts.”

“Who would buy a fake Christmas tree?” Cronin’s dad would say.

The first aluminum tree Don Piontek remembers seeing belonged to the same neighbors who also had the first color TV he had encountered. “We used to go over to their house and watch Disney’s ‘Wonderful World of Color’ and ‘Bonanza’ on Sunday evening.”

And as for whether artificial trees have gained total acceptance in 2012, well, there are two schools of thought.

“I think it’s really a non-issue in 2012,” said Mike Rue of Post Falls.

Cheney’s Larry Winters disagreed. “I kind of equate artificial Christmas trees with serving bologna for Thanksgiving.”

Today’s Slice question: Visions of what are dancing in your head?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Please share your home alarm system adventures.

Tags: The Slice