Christmas Rant: Trees

I figured I couldn’t just do one anti-Christmas rant and leave it be. Sort of like eating Doritos. No, that would be far out of character for Rants. So I decided that a series leading up to Christmas outlining the shit I hate most about it would be more at my level of awesome.

I’ll admit up front that the only redeeming quality of your standard-issue Christmas tree is the awesomesauce Christmas tree smell. I’d have that in the house all year long, but the logistics of growing a conifer indoors elevates the idea into the realm of ‘pain in the ass.’

Part of the ass pain of the Christmas tree is decoration. The pain starts with the lights and ends with all the fragile, glitter-encrusted, overly-sentimentalized dangly cat-bait ornaments. And no, no tinsel EVER. Everything has to be just… so. Requiring close supervision and approval for each and every one. And that’s after multiple attempts to get the flashy lights (an ADD nightmare) evenly distributed. Lights, I need to add, are always of the type where one dead bulb kills the whole strand, and of course there is a dead one in every other string. Because karma is a bitch.

Let’s not overlook the process of getting the damn thing into a stand. This is quite possibly the worst aspect of the whole tree concept. No matter how well-tended the tree was while growing, it is still not perfectly straight or balanced. And getting it that way in the stand is a chore that requires bending the laws of physics and three arms. Not to mention the sticky sap that will coat my hands for about a week. Supervision is always a big plus in performing this task, because I have always been incapable of knowing when I’m fucking up.

Picking one out is a minor pain. This involves serial stops at tree farms or home stores. While my part is mainly to stand there and just offer comment (a lot like blogging), it does start to suck balls when it’s 20 degrees (F, not C; this isn’t Europe) out and I can’t feel my toes anymore. I also suspect that there is a law of nature dictating that the best looking trees must by default have a large hole on one side. I guess that is so I know which part goes in the corner. And who’s been to a tree farm where they are going for the topiary look? Seriously, who wants a cartoon version that is perfectly conical?

Before you suggest an artificial tree, just stop your bad self and don’t. As much as I dislike the Christmas tree process, I put my foot down on fake trees because the entire holiday has become plastic, artificial, and meaningless enough.

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44 Responses to “Christmas Rant: Trees”

  1. We got a tree this year.. first time in a while. We had: the sap, the hole (to be placed in the corner), the crookedness in the stand…
    Annd… our cat ate (and threw up) half the garland in less than 24 hours.

    Yeah.. the smell is the most awesomesauce about it!

    Great post.

  2. mkultra76 Says:

    This year it took longer to get the tree into the stand than it did to go to the tree farm, select one, and cut it down. It’s still crooked, but we decided that it added character to the overall Christmas decor. Awesomesauce, indeed.

  3. You’re like the Grinch Who Had To Have A Christmas Tree….

  4. meganstephenson Says:

    Ahaha My dad always gets carried away and get a 8ft tree when we have a 7ft ceiling … Never fits.

  5. What about vintage plastic? I know you said not to suggest that. But I could just imagine you with a pink or silver one, ha no way, no how!

  6. John Erickson Says:

    Seriously, with your wood-working skills, do what my father did. Take one of those cheap-ass stands, build a wood box with an open top, bolt the stand to the box, then put TONS of weight (gallon paint cans work well, as would unused DU sabots 😀 ) in the box, THEN put the tree in the stand. Doesn’t matter how cockeyed the tree is, you can counterweight to your heart’s content. Add a couple power strips to the back of the box to give you a central lighting plug-in location, throw an ornamental rug or chair throw over the box, arrange the presents around the base, and voila!
    Though, somehow, I could see you making the aluminum tree with the rainbow wheel light shining on it REALLY work……

  7. *cough* real trees aren’t an option here :p . Hence nullifying most of this rant .

  8. You should get a fak…oh, nevermind.

  9. So, let’s see if I understand. You don’t like Christmas, but you have to have a REAL tree AND you decorate it…OCD-like and everything? Lights? Ornaments? Angel/star on top, too? EVERYTHING??!! Wow…it takes me all day to get my tree the way I like it. I’m impressed..Laundry AND the Christmas tree. I love it.

  10. When we decorate the tree the cats sit there watching the ornaments. You see their little cat brains going, “Hell yes. I’m going to kill ALL of those.”

  11. Cats are the reason we no longer do a tree in our house
    – real or fake –
    We have a small metal ornamental style tree with lights wrapped around it that can at least survive a fall to the floor from a cat attack

    • I couldn’t handle a metal tree. Sounds dangerous.

      • nah… table top sized and no sharp points to get poked with.
        Got to realize I have 4 Bengal and 2 Savannah cats romping in my wee house along with a husky cross dog who thinks she has just the coolest pack to play with… all these fur butts flying around could equal one major CAT-astrophe for a real or even a full sized fake tree.

        Shall try to get a blog up with pictures of the wee tree and purrhaps the critters too!

  12. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Definitely real tree. Hell No to tinsel. My cat (who now resides in kitty heaven) did crawl into a gift basket one year and happily gnawed on a stick of summer sausage…that was fun. My husband strings the lights, puts on the star and the ornaments at the top (I just can’t reach it) then tells me after all the hard work of toting boxes up and down from the attic – he only has the strength to lift a beer and watch me decorate the rest…tsk..tsk…

  13. How about a stripper pole with real strippers as ornaments. Named Holly, Merry, and Vixen.

  14. tinsel and glitter are bullshit.

  15. We always had a real tree when I was a kid, and the first year hubby and I were together we got a real tree. But he pitched a fit about not wanting to cut down a tree (no, he’s not a tree-hugger, just loves forests). I agreed to try an artificial tree if we could find one that looked real enough. I’ve found that they do have a couple of advantages … I now have a pre-lit tree so setting up the tree and the lights takes maybe 5 minutes, and I can leave it up as long as I want. So now we have 6 weeks of decorated tree awesomeness and we visit the forest to get the lovely fresh pine smell. No water for the four legged kids to mess with either. And no, not trying to convince you, just sayin’ what’s what over here. 😉

  16. Guilty of a good plastic tree! At least we don’t cut down trees just to decorate them with the ugliest things around while singing ‘White Christmas’. We only use it as a sort of lamp.
    And I’m jealous of people who don’t feel their toes when it’s cold. I do feel them.
    And it’s no fun.
    (Okay, they probably hurt you too, but not feeling them sounds like they don’t)

  17. Ah yes, kitties and Christmas trees. An adolescent kitty of mine (who also is now in kitty heaven — probably frolicking with whitelady’s kitty) once climbed up the interior of our tree and somehow managed to get her neck snared by one of the strings of lights. In her apparent panic she then felled the 6-1/2 foot tree with a resounding crash, sending ornaments, garland and all the water from the just-filled stand across the carpeting. We were awakened to a loud “meow!!/thump!!!!” and had to reach through scratchy needles and try to extract a frantic, clawing kitty.

  18. trees like to eat your mom
    http://forbettergenius.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/tree-hungry/
    don’t tell dad, but sometimes she likes it too

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