Doesn’t actually look all that new and unused, does it? Looks, actually, like someone’s been taking it out of their attic every year for ten years and using the tree and then putting it back into the attic, doesn’t it? But that’s fine. As long as the tree looked halfway decent from the street, I would be happy. And then I put it together, plugged all the parts into all the other parts, and then I stomped and screamed and called Fred and used the “C” word, and stomped some more, and got even more pissed.

The promised The received
And then? And then, my friends, I was filled with the Christmas Spirit. And lo, I said unto myself, I said “Self. Why the fuck are you doing this? You’re trying to put a Christmas tree in a small room, decorate it, and then shut the door so that it cannot be appreciated. And lo, this might be a piece of shit, ugly-ass tree, but this tree – this big fucking piece of crap – is trying to teach you something, self. This tree is trying to teach you that no one in this entire house but you gives a flying fuck whether there’s a tree in that room or not. And yes, perhaps having a tree in the big window might impress all the neighbors, but – lo – the neighbors probably don’t much give a shit about your decorations because they’re too busy mixing white and colored lights and buying too much stuff for their children, who spend many hours tromping across your lawn, and will probably continue to do so with their brand-spanking-new toys on Christmas day and lo the many years following, until they have grown into teenage punks, and will then spend their nights lolling about on your lawn smoking the dope and having the sex.” And I paused and slugged down some Scotch, straight from the bottle, and lo, I was filled with the True Meaning of Christmas. “Self,” I said. “What if you took this shitty tree down, and hauled it to the Downtown Rescue Mission so that someone who cannot afford to throw away $87 on it’s hideousness can pay $5 for it, and bring it home, and make it look decent with sixty-three days of hard work? And what if, further, you took the OTHER tree, the big one that Fred sweats and swears over every year as he strings the fucking lights on it, and you also hauled THAT to the Rescue Mission, and what if -” I hesitated, afraid to utter the words, for fear that the world would crack open, and yet the words, the words would be so liberating. I took another slug of Scotch, and breathed fumes over Miz Poo, who purred and flopped over to lick her ass. I took a deep breath, and then I said it. “WHAT IF YOU JUST DIDN’T HAVE A BIG TREE AT ALL?” And the angels sang. And the birds chirped. And the Baby Jesus gurgled in his crib. But I was not done with myself, not at all. For I needed to carry it further, to it’s natural conclusion, so that you readers who are hurriedly opening your mail clients with judgemental looks on your faces can just shut them and keep on reading, damnit. “But, the child,” I said to myself. “The child will be so very disappointed that there is no big tree, to decorate and admire. She will cry bitter tears in her bed at night, and tell her color picture of Elijah Wood of her horror. ‘No big tree! No big tree! Elijah, take me away!’ What kind of message will this send the child?” And the answer came to me, as if straight from the Baby Jesus himself. If the Baby Jesus ever gave a shit about Christmas trees, that is. “The message that the child will take away from the experience of not having a big tree is that you don’t always have to do something because it’s expected. The little tree is fine, and once we go through our box of ornaments and pick some out to put on the little tree, all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” And the birds, they did sing. And the Angel Gabriel did appear to give me a high five, and the cats, they did dance. So let it be written, so let it be done.]]>