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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 BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 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 PaulOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes 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 Loretta LandrieuSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible 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 ShaheenSenators pledge to pursue sanctions against Turkey over imprisoned American pastor Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination Menendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat' 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 GrahamRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Rand Paul under pressure as Pompeo hunts for votes Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination MORE (R-S.C.) said a tree is only a success “When your kids say, ‘Wow!’ ”

But Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State The rule-of-law party must unite around 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.”