It’s a tragedy. It’s a mystery. It’s a crying shame: Our artificial white Christmas tree turned an unfortunate shade of yellow. Of course, a white Christmas tree is meant to imply (okay maybe only half convincingly) that it is a green tree covered in a fresh dusting of pristine snow. But if it has suddenly become splotchy with yellow, what does that imply? Don’t answer that – I think we all know.
To our knowledge there are no animals to “leave their mark” in our basement where the tree has been stored for the last year. Our mistake: we didn’t cover it. But we didn’t cover it last year, and this didn’t happen. So I have been left to theorize. Readers of this blog know that I am terrified of our unfinished basement. No matter how many bare lightbulbs Rob has tried to rig up, it’s still dark. It’s cobwebby. It’s never been wet down there but, like many basements, it does have a bit of a dank-ish scent. Though the stairs are solid, they do have a creepy creek. This is all to say that I avoid the place as much as possible.
While I was ignoring the tree down there, thinking it was on deck and ready to make it’s third annual appearance in our living room, it was transforming into something…something straight-up unsightly and somewhat gross.
I’d posit that it’s a simple matter of dust build-up, but no amount of rubbing at the branches changes the situation. Clearly some kind of chemical reaction has occurred. Here are some hypotheses:
- Did he get a suntan from the nearby window?
- Overheated/burned by the furnace? (Which is not that nearby; we’re not complete idiots.)
- Radon poisoning?
- Spider pee?
- Coffee addiction? After all, the same thing is gradually happening to my formerly white teeth.
- Spontaneous case of self-antiquing?
A quick internet search revealed that we are not alone. Sounds like it’s pretty common for white plastic to turn yellow and there is little you can do about it. Some suggest trying to scrub it with vinegar, others suggest spraying it with fake snow. Neither of those things were likely to happen at this point, so after this sad discovery we ordered another tree online, and got a cover for it. Granted, the concept of having a fake tree is an attempt to be a bit environmentally conscious – to keep one less tree (or thirty, over the years) from getting chopped down. I love the smell and the look of a real tree, but I also like the retro-vibe of white and colored ones. Of course, now we’ll unfortunately be putting one in a landfill. Feeling guilty about this. (But I’d also feel bad subjecting Santa to that yellowing mess, too. He shouldn’t have to look at that.)
The good news is that new tree has arrived, and it’s white as freshly, fallen snow. Rob set it all up and I did the trimming. There are few things I enjoy more than busting out the ornaments, and thinking about all the kind folks who have given them to us over the years.
I love how the tree reflects off our picture window.
And I especially love how it looks from the street, through the trees, as I drive home from work at night.
With any luck (and I often am this lucky) the fire-place is a-blazing and a warm, delicious dinner is almost done. Cozy epitomized. Gotta love this time of year.
Do you have any theories why our tree turned yellow? Has this ever happened to you? Do you think the cover is going help? Please advise.