When I was growing up we never went and cut a tree nor did we select one from the pre-cut lots. We always bought a potted tree (still in its root ball). It was a family tradition that after Christmas we'd plant the tree on our property (to visit it on future Thanksgiving afternoon walks to come). Now this didn't ensure that our tree would be full or bushy or even very good looking but it did ensure that we were doing something positive for the earth. From a young age I was taught to treat nature kindly and lightly. We grew up backpacking and living on acreage that was sacred and remained relatively untouched.
Today my mom has a pre-lit plastic tree that folds into a neatly sealed box and reassembles each year for a delightfully similar looking Christmas. I understand her reasons why, so I do not say this without considering the reality that there are few choices that do not have either an "un-earth-friendly" or a "cheesy" quality to them, so what do you do?
I have found a viable and fairly cost effective way to solve the tree blues. Follow this link to a earth friendly site that allows you (if you live in the Portland area) to rent a tree that is delivered to your door, and picked up after Christmas and planted. This tree may be the kind of thing that can help us live a sentimental Christmas but do a kind deed for the world around us too.
For me it hearkens back to the days of my youth, days of lopsided and uncomely trees that were hoisted upon cinder blocks and covered with an old white sheet. To me it also hearkens back to the spirit of Christmas in my youth. A spirit of giving back to the world around us and bestowing a gift upon it that we can enjoy for years to come.
Happy, Merry, Christmas early....consider your options and consider your memories.