When I was growing up, our next-door neighbors had one of these aluminum Christmas trees, which they’d haul out every year and set up with a lighted color wheel turning its sparkly silver branches from neon red to yellow to blue to green and back again. I’m pretty sure my parents considered it the height of tackiness, but I thought it was absolutely magical.
I’d forgotten about it for years, and Christmas after Christmas my own family would drive out to the country to chop down a farm-grown tree — or, if our December weekends were especially packed, simply pick one up at a local lot. I always feel guilty and wasteful around January 2, when we toss the dried-out tree onto the curb for the trash pickup.
I recently remembered our neighbors’ space-age-style tree, and decided that I simply must have one. Not only will it work nicely with my favored holiday color scheme of silver and chartreuse with black accents — it turns out that, despite its glorious artificiality, a vintage aluminum tree (as opposed to a new, nonrecyclable fake evergreen, which uses all sorts of toxic chemicals and petroleum products in its manufacture) is actually a fairly Earth-friendly option. Plus, while new aluminum trees cost $300 or more, there are hundreds of vintage models on eBay starting at just 99 cents. I’m quite taken with the tree above, for instance, which stands 6 feet tall and comes with 46 pom-pom branches. Current bid: $10.
(P.S. Don’t forget the color wheel!)
See more of Leah’s great finds on her blog, More Ways to Waste Time.