Senate talks Xmas spruces: Paul tricked by his tree, Graham likes to ‘wow’ them

It’s that time of year when Christmas trees start going up around Washington.

President Obama and the first family will be on hand for Thursday’s televised lighting of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. And next week, House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election White House strikes back at Bushes over legacy MORE (R-Ohio) will do the honors as the Capitol Christmas tree, a 65-foot white fir from California, is lit.

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What makes an out-of-this-world tree is a topic of fierce debate among lawmakers. Yet one thing quickly became clear when ITK asked them about their ideal holiday tree: America’s senators don’t like to fake it.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senator asks to be taken off Moore fundraising appeals Red state lawmakers find blue state piggy bank Prosecutors tell Paul to expect federal charges against attacker: report MORE said without hesitation, “Live. Got to be a live Christmas tree.” But the Kentucky Republican then disclosed how his family once was duped after cutting down a colorful spruce, exclaiming, “We had it up, it was one of our first trees, and it fell over. We discovered that it had been spray-painted green, and we had gone out and done the authentic experience. Sometimes they spray them to make them look a little better. It was really a great-looking green tree, though.”

While Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuYou want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible CNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' CNN's Van Jones: O'Keefe Russia 'nothingburger' video 'a hoax' MORE (D-La.) also dislikes those artificial trees, her idea of a supreme shrub might not exist in nature: “A great tree is a fresh tree that has a wonderful scent and aroma that will last even if you fail to water it. I haven’t seen one of those yet, but I’m hoping to find one.”

Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDefense bill includes 3,500 more visas for Afghans who helped US troops Overnight Finance: Day three of tax bill markup | Ryan says election results raise pressure for tax reform | Tax whip list - Where Republicans stand | Justice, AT&T spar over CNN sale | 25 Dems vow to block spending without Dream Act Russia crackdown survives NDAA conference MORE (D-N.H.) gave a perfectly politically correct response when ITK inquired about a shrub Santa would approve of, saying with a smile, “One from New Hampshire, of course!”

No matter which state it’s from, bachelor Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCNN to air sexual harassment Town Hall featuring Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill Trump wrestles with handling American enemy combatants Flake: Trump's call for DOJ to probe Democrats 'not normal' MORE (R-S.C.) said a tree is only a success “When your kids say, ‘Wow!’ ”

But Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMcConnell: 'I don't hear much pressure' to pass bill protecting Mueller from Trump Bipartisan lawmakers can rebuild trust by passing infusion therapy bill Democrats double down on calls for Congress to protect Mueller MORE (D-Del.) wins the award for the most Hallmark-worthy response: “What makes a perfect Christmas tree? One that you pick out as a family, decorate as a family and have a chance to celebrate as a family.”