However, 2 weeks after Christmas, a telltale sign we’re in for another 360 ‘regular’ days starts showing in our streets : dead pine trees on the pavement. Yes, they’re waiting to be collected by the garbage truck.
They usually come in two packages: the dead tree itself, and a garbage bag containing the needles right next to it.
While part of the joy of Christmas is all about decorating the house and tree, let’s face it: pine needles are a pain in the ass. If you have a cat, dog or very young child in the house, you know what I’m talking about.
On that very same note, don’t go for the delicate, fragile decorations because they will fall and break.
As if choosing the tree – not too big, not too small, not too bald – then hauling it on to the top of your car, driving home slowly so it does not fall off, dragging it upstairs (provided it fits in the elevator or you’re in for a wild ride in the staircase). Great! You made it home! 😀
After you get it out of the protective net/plastic sheen, you get the initial spray of needles. Think of it as the way of marking its territory. To be fair you took it miles away from its home, that’s the least the tree can do to show you it’s pissed off at being cut off from its roots. Atta boy!
Then you realize the tree won’t stand straight, because the support thingy that looked straight when you bought the tree got crooked during transportation. You now have to build a makeshift support/base for your tree. Add two more treefalls in the base building “trial/error” process, which results in frustration and… more pine needles on your floor.
You got your tree up and standing about 90° vertical. You’re good to go and can start decorating. Regular and/or electrical garlands? Oh yes, you’re definitely going for both, except they start mixing up in your tree and you realize you don’t have enough slack to reach the power outlet.
Catholics, brace yourselves, the guilt trip begins. What is a tree doing inside your house? Why did you buy it from someone who chopped it off? If these questions make you think of the tree as a person, you’re not half wrong but should still seek professional help.
Either way, after the celebrations are over, you end up with a dead tree in your living room (note the conflicting terms). Of course no one wants to touch the thing with a 10-foot pole until someone is officially appointed to get rid of the tree.
In case you were wondering, despite your best effort and the use of a power vacuum cleaner, you will never get all the pine needles. You will most likely find some from this year next December, when you have to buy another chopped off tree to put in your living room. You botanical criminal.
On a side note, and as a way to make this post a bit more constructive:
- Are there organisations that guarantee the re-planting of trees or tree nurseries for each purchase of a Christmas tree?
- Would you support a Christmas tree tax that would finance a re-foresting effort?
- Are synthetic Christmas trees really that bad?
- Would you prefer n actual organic tree or one made from petrol-based products? Either way, you’re hurting the environment but the rationale behind the choice says lots about you if you think about it.
- Is it just a symbol?
I, for one, play the “Grow! Tree” game every year before giving in to my significant other and driving off to buy a tree. But when we’re short on time, we have a miniature plastic tree that sits in the closet all year and that we take great joy at decorating around December 15th… and does not shed pine needles 😉