November 22, 2006

The Thanksgiving tree

"I don't want that thing in my car," he said.

"What? Why? It's just a fake Christmas tree!"

"I just don't. It's weird."

The weirdness of my grandmother's oversized fake Christmas tree was causing some packing delays last night. As I was busy with my overnight bag, I was also pulling out decorations I had borrowed from my grandmother last year (when my family was convinced she might not see another Christmas -- morbid, I know) so I could return them to (alive and well) her, allowing her a proper celebration this year.

Z, who would be driving us both across the pass this afternoon so we could celebrate the holiday with my relatives, wasn't really having any of the fake Christmas tree.

And although I'd never admit it, I got it.

It was huge and scratchy and dusty, and most of all, fake. His reaction to that tree was something like my reaction to every silk plant on the planet or that lunchmeat with the pimentos in it.

It is just plain unnatural.

And being a Christmas purist, I honestly believe in the value of marching aimlessly around a Christmas tree farm, sharpened hand-saw dragging behind you, pointing and arguing over which is the most perfectly symmetrical tree. Of course this is followed by the cutting down of the tree (which is usually almost impossible and always results in pine needles in parts of your body you really prefer not to have pine needles) and typically ends with at least one person lying pinned under a large near-symmetrical tree yelling

"There's SAP in my EYE!! OH GOD!! SAAAPPP!!!"

Unfortunately, sometimes the real world gets in the way of my principles, and in addition to my Grandmother's full-size fake tree, I also have a fake tree, though mine is miniature in size and pre-strung with lights (my second most favorite part of Christmas -- by which I mean most likely to result in someone's death -- is untangling Christmas tree lights). I had to stand my ground, if only to avoid hypocrisy.

"Look, it's not weird. It's a tree. Explain to me why my Grandmother's Christmas tree can't ride in the trunk of your car."


"Really. I won't even argue. Just explain it to me."

Z, smiling in resignation: "I can't. It can come. It's fine."


"Are you just saying that, or are you admitting you were being completely uptight?" (I needed to clarify in what manner exactly I had won this argument.)



"Honestly," he said, "Don't push it."

The Christmas tree, Z and I will all, apparently, be making it across the pass this afternoon. My grandmother will be delighted. (Well, would be, if she could remember why.)

And last night, I put up my second fake tree in my house. It took 20 seconds and once it was erect, I just plugged it in and watched it stand there, glowing.

Yeah, I missed out on the whole chopping, sapping, pine needling, arguing, hauling, trimming experience, but it brightened up the place just the same.

Happy holidays, all. If yours are anything like mine, they will consist of one long bender, punctuated by meals that could be mistaken for death-matches with your own stomach capacity. Quite frankly, that's just the way I like it.


Drew said...

I've never had a real Christmas tree. We've been using the same fake one since 1985. Am I a bad person? I'm sorry, it was out of my hands.

Trebuchet said...

I don't think you're a bad person. I think you, like me, are captured (whether by choice or genetics) by simplicity, laziness and a desire not to have to vaccum.

If you flocked it, you would be a bad person.