By CYN LoPINTO
When we look at those real Christmas trees that decorated our homes decades ago, it is hard to believe just how skimpy and uneven they were. Many got their trees from neighborhood lots or simply chopped the top off of a tree that was on their property. Strategically-place ornaments helped to somewhat camouflage bare sections and tinsel was used generously to even out problem areas. Each tree had its own challenges and the real test was creating a festive look just working with what you had on hand. While the white or pink aluminum trees were beginning to show up at houses in certain hip communities, most homes had a simple tree in their living room to ring in the holiday season.
Today, most Christmas trees are artificial and very symmetrical. Stringing lights and hanging ornaments are used mostly for decorating, since large bare spots are a thing of the past. Branches are clicked into place and limbs can be fanned out to accommodate whatever decorations you choose to add. Tinsel is long gone and lights now come in all types of sizes and styles. Tree lights can be set to not blink or programmed to flash in whatever sequence fits your mood. You have the control of exactly how you want your tree to look. It is a far cry from those scrawny “Charlie Brown” trees of Christmas past.