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Musings on a Christmas Tree - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
terribleturnip

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Musings on a Christmas Tree [Oct. 21st, 2009|08:57 am]
terribleturnip
I'll confess it -- I hate the Giant Christmas Tree on the Mall because the decorators insist on decorating it in a fashion that makes it no longer look like a tree, but a big giant, lit up lump. Pah.



That's a quote from a tree farmer in West Virginia, talking about the White House Christmas Tree*.

(which to be fair, is the tree they have inside the White House and it will be tree-shaped and properly decorated. But I felt some kind of bizarre need to say that I hated the Giant Christmas Tree. Get it out there in public. Exorcise it. Keep people from asking me if I'm going down to see it. Although those people aren't reading this, so why do I even bother? Like so many things...I don't freaking know. It just happened.)

Anyway, back to: "Not every tree wants to be a Christmas tree."

Well, yah, because it sort of means cut down, hauled across miles, tied to the back of a truck, propped up in the equivalent of the town square, having things tied around you and stuck to you, while you slowly die in full view of gathered crowds, and then, when everyone's had their full of looking at you, they cart you off to go rot somewhere.

In olden times, that's how we handled miscreants. Now we call it inhumane.

"Not every tree?" Good golly, who would want to go through all of that for fifteen minutes of fame and....

Oh, right. Plenty. Of people, certainly. Although that's predicated on the fantasy that the adoration and attention will never stop, requiring complete denial of the compost heap. And I suspect trees are short on fantasy AND denial.

Okay, okay, I get what the farmer's saying -- I grok that. (If you don't know what that means...shame on you. Sure, he's a misogynistic a-hole and all of his stories are essentially the same story, and really, dude, in your dreams all of those hot women carelessly sharing you about, although I notice it's very one-sided in your favor. But still, you have to respect the foundation of the genre.)

But really, am I the only one who hears that tree screaming, as it's strapped to the bed of the truck "Wait, no! I'm not done procreating! I have years left. There are no other pine trees there on the mall, my pinecone-making time shouldn't be over yet, noooooooooo!"

Which won't stop me from having a healthy young tree chopped down in the prime of its life to decorate my living room. But I'm a bastard and don't for a single hot minute think that tree WANTED to dehydrate and die in my living room.

Mostly because I love having it there. If there was a catch and release method, I'd do it. (Don't start with the whole "get a live tree and then plant it when you're done. With a yard my size, I have to release it someplace else. And the struggle to keep it alive...get it there...get it planted...and then watch it die anyway...after having spent gobs more money than I would've on a dead tree.)

But I console myself that tree farms provide habitat for wildlife, to a certain extent, and a profitable tree farm is much gentler on the earth than a condo-farm or golf course. So, every year when the tree pirates tell me how much the tree I just picked out is going to cost me...because they know I have to have a Fraser and it must be largeish and I have about 15 minutes in the season to buy one, so really, I have no choice, they might as well have me on a plank with a pistol pointed at my head, it's not like I'm going to go comparison shopping. It's cold, and shelling out gobs of money for the perfect (well, not perfect. Perfect looks fake and this should look like a tree. And that spot where a deer nipped the end of the branch and now, 8 years later there's sort of an open spot...I got an ornament that REQUIRES that) tree is all that stands between me and dinner. And sitting on my butt.

So, yeah, I smile sweetly, hand it over, think of another year of condo-farm postponed.

*To be ultrafair, I based this all on a passing glance at the highlighted quote for the article. When I actually read the article, he's talking about how they grow many trees, and they take care of them, pruning, fertilizing, etc., but they don't all grow up looking like a tree that should be in someone's living room. For which I heart him. Because I am in love with grizzled old farmer-men/women who understand, in their BONES, that things -- weather, animals, plants -- will do what they will and you just do your best and work around it. Because that will be me some day and I have to practice the self love now, so that I don't freak out when I look in the mirror and see what's happened to me.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sestree
2009-10-21 01:51 pm (UTC)
As a happy empty-nester, I have that tiny table-top pre-lit fake-oid gold thingy from Lowes.

Stops the cats from climbing it. Doesn't stop them from trying to eat it though ......

of course we have grand plans to celebrate Christmas in the cold majesty of the beach in Ocean City so a live tree would just catch fire or get pushed through the patio doors or eaten while we're gone heheh
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[User Picture]From: wildwose
2009-10-21 02:20 pm (UTC)
This may or may not come as a surprise...

It has been our long time goal to have a few acres to grow Christmas Trees. Not for a big commercial operation, but just enough for ourselves and friends. I think that is how the best "home grown" is often done. ;-) Maybe one day I will grow you a lovely Fraser Fir and not charge you a branch and a root.

Well, it's probably not a surprise, considering that I like to dress like a tree.
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[User Picture]From: bittibuddha
2009-10-21 03:26 pm (UTC)
there are times when your rants are so articulate in their timbre and so grand in their scope I cannot, in good conscience, conceive any comment that would improve their content, so I don't.

this would be one of those instances.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2009-10-22 04:13 pm (UTC)
I don't do Christmas trees. I prefer a large branch to decorate, when I have the space to do so.
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