It seemed like such an innocent notion… bring home a real goddamn Christmas tree this year. One of the perks of my job as a TV news magazine producer is that every so often I get to literally take my work home with me. In this case that work was the product of a story I did on how to find and cut down your own real live Xmas tree for the holidays. Also, it wasn’t really work. It was a motherforking tree!!
Well right from the get go this thing was needy. For one, it was too big. So I had to go and buy a hacksaw and some work gloves in order to chop it down to a reasonable, Charlie Brown’s Christmas size. Second, it needed a stand. Now you would think that they would sell those at just about every BLANKmart and Gas Station from here to Pennsylvania but you would only be half right. Yes, they did sell them, at some undisclosed time in the recent past, but they were most certainly sold out by the time we pulled our Hyundai into the holiday funzone.
We eventually found one at Home Depot. Who I dub, on this the 19th day of December, Sir Home Depot. Problem solved. We got home and the sun had long been set. I put my high beams on and parked the car -pointing them out into a patch of open grass next to the lot. I dragged the tree out of the back of my car and threw him on the lawn. I felt like a serial tree rapist in a David Lynch movie. I worked the blade until I finally took off about a foot and half of trunk, which I discarded in a nearby dumpster like the leavins of a fresh kill. My co-worker would later ask me if I still had this dismembered trunk which he hoped to display at his home as a joke surely amusing to no one.
By this point I had been stung and bitten by the tree several times in my attempts to love it. My hand began to look positively leprotic as fashion forward bumps and lesions overtook the normally *cough* baby soft skin.
It was at this point that the physical torment ended and the mental anguish began. Mr. Tree, as we named him, had snuck the Christmas spirit into our house and began to invade all parts of our lives. Because of Takako’s pregnancy, we would be blessed with a quiet Christmas at home this year. Just the 2.5 of us. Mr. Tree would not let this be. He was naked in our living room. A living breathing naked thing watching us watch TV and couch cuddle. Until he was besparkled with dazzlies, he was just some pervert tree and not a symbol of all things Christmas. So we added lights.
For a while that was enough.
The next day while awash in the romantic glow of reds and greens, yellows and blues, we heard the faint rustling of his needles whisper, “GIVE ME PRESENTS.” It’s something we had avoided for years because the truth is, I buy everything I want when I want. I don’t wait around for someone to tell me when I can have it. Takako is the same way. Our Xmas presents are usually small and personal and homemade.
Not this year. Oh no. Mr. Tree demanded presents under him. He demanded cute little gift tags. He demanded Egg nog be drank and merriness to be the order of the day. He demanded and received little silver bells to hang from his sculptured boughs.
And so we relented. And now our house smells of cinnamon and pine. The scent of defeat. Another victim of the season.