Our Christmas tree is not a living thing, it’s one of the fake ones. It’s not green, it’s silver. It’s a vintage Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree, the kind that Charlie Brown’s Christmas supposedly made tacky.
Unlike most trees, you can’t put lights on it. The fact that it’s made of metal means that any short in any wire could have catastrophic results. These days you can load the driest kindling-esque real tree with as much LED string lights as it can support and there probably won’t be enough heat to start a fire, but an aluminum tree is a fire hazard for any number of lights.
That’s why they sold color wheels with those things. Like the color wheel in a DLP projector, but slowed way down, the color wheel for a tree is a simple thing: some segments of translucent colored plastic, a motor, and a light bulb.
You sit the thing on the ground, plug it in, and it throws colored light on your shiny, reflective, aluminum tree.
It looks good, but that’s not enough.
The tree being free of wires, the tree base itself, instead of having to provide stale tap water to a real tree’s dying phloem, is free to be motorized and spin the entire tree so the color being projected on it is made dynamic and the silver tinsel needles can throw scintillating patterns all over the living room.
It looks good, but you have to plug everything in and turn it on.
And then our color wheel broke, in a bad way. It was time to modernize and automate the Christmas tree.
Alexa, Turn On The Tree