Oh Christmas Tree…

February 13, 2011

You may be wondering why I am writing on this topic today, it being February 13th, and all. After all, it is still about 10.5 months before Christmas, isn’t it?

No, actually, it’s about 1.5 months AFTER Christmas…

This past Christmas, we, like most Americans, put up a Christmas tree. There is nothing unusual about this – we, like most Americans, do this every year and have done so since the year we were born.

Each year we put it up, decorate it beautifully, throw presents beneath it on Christmas Eve and take it down after the Christmas Season (which actually ends in early January, about the 8th).

Nothing changed this year in that regard… But…

Something did change this time around, and it has caused us some confusion…

For the last very many years, we have had an artificial Christmas Tree.. Not that we don’t like real trees, but it seemed like a good idea at the time we bought it very many years ago.

Why did we buy an artificial tree?

  • We got tired of needles falling off and getting into the carpet.
  • And everywhere else.
  • We thought it would be easy to just keep it in the garage all year round and throw it together at Christmas time, thereby saving us the hassle of going out and looking for ‘just the right one’ every year. (I don’t have a problem picking one out – it’s usually in the first group of one that I look at. However, I seem to be in the minority in that regard, with Judy being the majority.)
  • It would save us money in the long run because it would pay for itself after a few years (about ten of them as it turns out).
  • It came with one thousand, six hundred lights already attached, so it would save time stringing them ourselves.
    • Also saving me from possible electrocution, and/or having to go to confession for using The Lord’s name in vain. Before the fake tree, I always waited to go to confession until after the erection of the tree.
    • This meant that we had to put the tree up quite early in the season. And this may explain the dry needles all over the place.

This (last) year, however, we decided to go au natural in the tree department. This was a multi-faceted decision based on several things.

  • First, the fact that it really wasn’t so easy to put the thing together. In reality, it was a long arduous process, and it always led to multiple cuts, scratches and abrasions on unprotected hands, arms and faces due to the requirement for shaping the hundreds of branches. Assembly required gloves, long sleeve shirts, goggles, etc.
    • This job is dangerous. Naked people need not apply.
  • Another factor in the decision was storage of the tree after Christmas. The same hazards listed above combined with the fact that every year, the Christmas Tree box seemed to get just a little bit smaller. This, of course, made it just a little bit more difficult to restore the tree to it’s natural state of hibernation in the off season.
  • Finally, also helping the decision along was the fact that the tree (and all of our decorations) was stored in the garage, and the garage went when the house burned down. One of the MANY mixed blessings that the fire provided…

OK – so we got a real tree this year. It was GREAT! It smelled like a tree! And decorating it was actually kinda fun! All who saw it loved it, especially Judy and me. We had a slight challenge in that Max seemed to acquire a taste for pine needles, but other than that, it was good.

Until it came time to take it down…

Removing the decorations was easy, figuring out what to do with the thing was not… We have been trying to figure out what to do with the now dead tree – we don’t think we’re supposed to just put it out with the trash… We are attempting find that out but haven’t yet received an answer.

At least we got it out of the house. It’s right outside our back door and Judy thinks it looks out of place…

I, on the other hand, think it goes well the the natural surroundings, don’t you?


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