My lovely mother killed an ARTIFICIAL Christmas tree. Yes, K-I-L-L-E-D it. It seems that the thing is older than I am and the plastic pieces on those old artificial trees (you know with plastic needles and steel limbs) just shattered when she tried to put it together. It broke once and we were able to rig it back together by wrapping the part that broke with duct tape. WELL... after we got all the lights on the damn thing, STUPID ME went and told her that the top part was a little crooked. My darling mother moved it a little and then PRESSED IT DOWNWARD, fully well knowing that she'd already broken the plastic pieces once before. The whole thing crumbled into bits and was horribly funny. I tried to save the thing with a large wooden dowel and green duct tape, but it was done for. Mom's got to buy a new tree and we're going to have to have a formal ceremony for the old one because it was part of the family longer than I was. :( Poor tree.