Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh! Christmas Tree! Oh! Christmas Tree!

Every Christmas tree has a story to tell every Christmas. Here's this year's tree speaking:

Hi! First of all, you gotta know that I'm a "real" tree. However, I didn't actually grow up in a real forest. It was an agribusiness monoculture kind of place called a Christmas Tree Plantation -- up in the northern part of the Midwest. Okay, so I get cut down and loaded on a truck and shipped down to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Whew! Was I glad to get outta that truck! So I end up on a lot that's the parking area for a very popular frozen custard place from March to November. On December 8, it's raining like crazy -- chilly, damp, overcast -- pretty miserable for people coming out to select a Christmas tree, huh? Kinda early too, wouldn't you say?

     Well, turns out these folks thought they might not be able to handle getting a tree, setting it up, and so on this year totally on their own (age, health issues, etc. ... old age ain't for sissies, so say the Bristle Cone Pines and the Sequoias anyway). Their friend who's gonna help is going out of town soon though, so ... early tree selection. That's good. I'm fresh. I'm a balsam fir, by the way. Nice shape, soft needles that won't prick your fingers but hold up ornaments real good.
     Okay, it's pouring so they don't take long to choose me (besides, I'm so handsome I stand out, you know?) I'm paid for, netted, packed in the back of the

van, and driven to my Christmas "home" in Urbana.
Okay, nice enough place, decent tree stand, sugar water to help me from dehydrating ... so far, so good.
     Takes 'em all evening to get the lights up on me because some bulbs have burned out and they have to test each one. Hah! I love it when humans have to work hard to decorate us right ...
     So they've got six cats who are pretty interested in sniffing my branches, but none of them tries to climb me. And they give me a day to kind of "settle in" with just my lights on. Nice. I like to do it gradually.
     Now they bring out the ornaments in a day or two. The missus is the one doing the ornament hanging. She loves Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments. Every year she wraps each one carefully and puts it away in a compartment of a cardboard box. Some of the ornaments are really old. There are nice ones and some sort of shabby ones, but the main thing is that there are a heck of a lot of them! Also, she is slow (arthritis), so she puts up a few and then rests in between.
     Now the top is done with small glass ornaments (breakables) in the shape of fruits, musical instruments, animals, churches, and so on. Oh yeah, also some glass balls and icicles. Nice job. But it wore her out, so it's another day before my whole middle section gets finished. More glass balls and a mix of wooden, metal, and
other non-breakables. Good. I'm starting to feel proud now, looking festive and all, you know?  She's also put a "tree skirt" (I don't take it personally about the skirt part even though I'm a macho male tree) around my base. The husband checks me every day for water. Nice guy. So another day goes by before the bottom third gets decorated. Mostly cardboard and cloth ornaments this time because of the kitties. They do love to knock those off! It always tickles me!
I'm starting to shed some needles by now and they have to vacuum. Sorry, that's the down side compared to one of these artificial jobbies. They are planning to keep me up until the day after Christmas, so I can't really complain. I know my role, which is more than you can say for everybody on this planet. I've already helped out with carbon emission reductions. They say I'm going to be recycled for garden compost later on, which is a comforting thought. I think gardens are a good thing. Perennials are like distant relatives to me, sort of like cousins twice removed, you know?
     Well, the cats are enjoying the whole thing.
They like racing around underneath my bottom branches,
knocking off ornaments, maybe nibbling on the needles
a little bit. Like I say, I don't mind. They are pretty cute, in fact.

So that's my story. Christmas 2009. Proud to be here! Merry Christmas, Dear Readers!

1 comment:

  1. Awww...great post and a great tree! Merry Christmas!