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 Boehner (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 Paul 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 Landrieu (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 Shaheen (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 Graham (R-S.C.) said a tree is only a success “When your kids say, ‘Wow!’ ”

But Sen. Chris Coons (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.”