Thursday, December 29, 2016

On plans and needles.

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree  
How lovely are thy branches 
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree 
How lovely are---


Whoa, harsh.

This sad ex-Christmas tree (now known as tree) was spotted in this low estate on the morning of the fourth day of Christmas. While the rest of us were all playing with our new calling birds, this family seems to have heaved Christmas to the curb.

What's the rush? I wondered. Not everyone sticks it out with their decorations through Epiphany, but before New Year's? That seems a little hurried. A lot of us may desire to return to normalcy -- see yesterday's entry on PCL, or post-Christmas letdown -- but in my experience the post-emotional-event sadness will just leave you wiped out, pining (so to speak) at the tree, not taking it to pieces in a fit of pique.

Of course, the tree could have been dying prematurely, but that doesn't seem to be the case. This was no denuded, brown zomb-tree. This tree looks so fresh you might almost try replanting it. It looks like it might want to go for a walk.

Tossing a tree with so much left to give seemed mean, wasteful, and impatient to me at first, but then it occurred to me that the family might have been going away. If you're going off to Disney for the week between Christmas and New Year's, you'd better not leave a real tree around. The National Fire Protection Association makes it sound as if a dry tree could spontaneously burst into flame and burn down your house, and I for one would not chance it.

So if you are going away for any amount of time following Christmas, your options are: 1) no tree throughout December; 2) artificial tree; 3) arrange for a tree waterer to come in, as people will with live plants; 4) toss it ASAP and skedaddle; 5) cancel your plans and stay home with your tree.

Being an adult means being able to make the hard choices. While I'm sorry to see a tree on the curb so early -- especially since I don't think the town is even picking them up until next week -- it may have been the responsible thing to do.

Farewell, O Tannenbaum! Rest and pine no more.

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