One of the most appealing aspects of Christmastime is the traditions that come with it.
It’s not just opening presents on Dec. 25. It’s also about illuminating your house with Christmas lights, so it’s the brightest one on your block. It’s about hanging your own customized stocking on the fireplace. And it’s most certainly about searching for that one, perfect tree so that you can coil it to the top of your car, decorate it, and then —
You put that thing dirty, monstrous thing in your home? Seriously?
Has any one ever thought about the actual dynamic of having a real-life tree in your living room? Think about it in terms of an architectural blueprint. You have your couch, television set, sofa, you probably have some stupid ottoman somewhere in there … and then there’s a tree.
In December, the homes of Catholic families basically resemble an illustration from Where the Wild Things Are. The only things missing are vines and a talking beast.
But anyway, I know that draping ornaments, lights and candy canes onto the tree is arguably the most enjoyable part of the holiday. I’m not trying to downplay that. Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around sitting around that tree and decorating it with my family.
And lighting it up for the first time to see the finished product after hours of work is truly one of life’s precious moments. I really don’t even mean that sarcastically.
Owning your own Christmas tree has also become so common that it’s gotten to the point where, if you are Catholic and you don’t have one, people think there is something wrong with you.
But I’m just wondering if anybody else, besides me, has ever taken a step back, and said, “Why do we go through all of the trouble to put a goddamn tree inside of our homes?”
Firstly, they’re heavy. Transporting it from the location of purchase to your home is no picnic. In fact, I’m sure that one of every five people injure themselves in some way during this process.
And if you have a cat or a dog — forget it. That tree is going down at some point. It’s not a question of if, but when.
If aliens ever invaded Earth and it happened to be the month of December, I’m certain they’d jettison back into their spaceships moments after they enter people’s homes, because seeing living trees inside would convince them that we are a crazy, unstable species.
“They’ve got trees, man. Actual trees!” That’s what one alien would say to the other, while hunched in a ball in the corner of the spaceship as they return to their home planet called Glutar.
But those aliens would be missing out. Because had they stayed just a little longer, they’d have witnessed the tree lit up in all of its glory, a family of four spread about comfortably on sofa chairs while watching a movie and eating milk and cookies, complete with a little kitten curdled up on the carpet.
And then they’d understand why we have Christmas trees in our homes.