My friend was telling me about how he had gone into Walnut Creek's Target the other day and was in the aisle looking at artificial trees to purchase.
He is Indian, and he says that, among friends and family who have come from that South Asian nation to the United States, it is common to put up a Christmas tree, but one that is artificial. In his view, it's more economical in that you don't have to buy a new one year after year.
Well, apparently he had gone looking for artificial trees at Targets and other stores in and around Fremont, where he and his wife live with their newborn baby. Not an artificial tree to be found down there, but, as he notes, Fremont is home to a large number of Indian immigrants. So, presumably, those other Indians snapped up all the artificial trees in stock.
During a lunch break from his job in Walnut Creek, he stopped in at our local Target.
There were a number of artificial trees to choose from. But, he reports, he was getting some "dirty looks" from other shoppers. And he wondered if it was because--gasp--he was considering buying an artificial tree!! He was violating some kind of holiday fashion code that says "Thou shalt only put up a real tree in your home."
He said, laughingly, that he called his wife in a panic, saying he was afraid to buy one in Walnut Creek. I could see him worrying about being run out of the store by members of the Walnut Creek chapter of the Church of Martha Stewart Living. (Speaking of Martha: have you made your homemade popcorn garland yet?)
He concluded that no one in Walnut Creek buys artificial Christmas trees, but I suggested one market for them would be our residents of Rossmoor and other seniors, who perhaps wouldn't want to deal with the yearly hassle of buying and putting up a fresh tree.
In any event, my friend left Target empty handed. Maybe he'll have better luck this weekend, and feel more comfortable buying one closer to home.