Nothing says Christmas like an aluminum tree


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/16/nothing-says-christmas-like-an.html


#2

I don’t know what’s more awesome, an electrified Christmas tree with uninsulated Christmas tree lights, or the long series of terrible decisions that lead to that being a thing.


#3

As a little kid I recall one of these things being part of “The Christmas Decorations” at my grandparents home, apparently an artifact of the immediate post war years. I wasn’t old enough to retain memories until about 1967 or 68, I guess, by which time the aluminum tree was long gone.
http://www.ebay.com/cln/elba-livecolorful/color-wheel-awesomeness/67347690010


#4

My father sold these when I was growing up, both the trees and the lights. This was on the South Side of Chicago, and honestly it wasn’t so easy to get real trees in that neighborhood in those days. Moreover, these were fairly inexpensive and could be stored and reused every year. You could put green tinsel on them to make them more outdoorsie, the green got reflected by the tree which magnified the effect.

Of course, they don’t resonate with authenticity like the live evergreens that are just like the ones in the manger where Jesus is reputed to have been born, but they were less tacky than their reputation, and helping my father put together the display trees in his store every year allowed this Jewish boy to share the spirit of Christmas.


#5

I believe it’s pronounced “Festivus.”


#6


#7

The only thing worse then those aluminum trees, were the pink flocked trees.


#8

I can tell you that while my dad was still alive, the christmas tree was not decorated until he had hung a piece of tinsel off of every single branch. He was not a compulsive man except for that necessary task every year.


#9

Forget Aluminum Xmas trees: I’m searching like crazy for an aluminum cello. And yes, there have been some made. Find me one please :slight_smile:


#10

The Germans liked them and floated them down the lake from Escanaba. If I was living in the UP and had more trees than I knew how to get rid of, I’d get rid of them too, and if I was smart about it, I’d make a pretty penny by making Christmas Trees ™ a thing everyone just had to have.

I like Christmas trees, but if I think about it, it’s a really crazy idea. Cut down a tree, drag it inside, hang actual flaming candles off of it… yeah that idea definitely came from a sober person.

But maybe the insanity is why I like it.


#11

I worked for Reynolds several years back at their corp HQ in Richmond, Va. and apart from the ‘smoking in offices is just A Ok’ it was a cool place to work. The basement test kitchen where all things aluminum were devised for all things cooked was a great place to grab a bite for lunch!

Never witnessed an aluminum Xmas tree. Well before my time there. Lots of aluminum ash trays however.


#12

I had one if those color wheels as a kid that came from a thrift store. It wasn’t until recently that I learned what these were actually for after someone posted a picture of one on /r/whatisthisthing.

ETA here we go:


#13

[quote=“LearnedCoward, post:10, topic:91335, full:true”]

they don’t resonate with authenticity like the live evergreens that are just like the ones in the manger where Jesus is reputed to have been born

The Germans liked them and floated them down the lake from Escanaba. [/quote]

http://locations.greyhound.com/bus-routes/destination/escanaba-mi/bethlehem-pa


#14


#15

Was it the aluminum variety of tinsel? It always seemed heavier and more twisted over time. I kind of miss it really. You can’t find it anywhere anymore.

The cat used to eat the plastic variety and as a result had shiny poop.


#16

You were in Pennsylvania?


#17

Well, I’ve been there, if that’s your question.


#18

Maybe it is? I’m not sure why we’re talking about Pennsylvania.


#19

I’ll let you know once I understand why the trees in Jesus’s manger were shipped in from the Upper Peninsula. Give me a break, I’m Jewish and not up on the finer details of Christmas.


#20

For years it was the heavy-duty kind. But by the 80s, it ended up being the cheaper stuff.