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Posted by on Dec 10, 2023 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘According To The Book’

Living Retired — ‘According To The Book’

Living Retired — ‘According To The Book’

By Gary Chalk.

For our first Christmas, Jan and I joined the long-practiced Christmas tradition of driving into the countryside to get a live Christmas tree. We didn’t go about this willy-nilly. We bought ‘A Dummies Guide to Getting A Live Christmas Tree & Avoiding Family Arbitration.’ After reading the book cover to cover we were good to go, or so we thought…

Leaving the house…

“Jan, I put a toboggan in the trunk to haul the tree from the woods. Do you have the thermos of hot chocolate?”

“Yes, I do Gary. I followed the recipe in the book that ensures the hot chocolate is so scalding hot that it will burn the living daylights out of our lips.”

“And Jan I packed the mittens with the built-in hand warmers that don’t work?”

Five minutes later…

“Gary, we better turnaround. I need to check that I pulled the plug on my electric curling iron, sorry.”

“Not a problem Jan. I should try to pee again. I don’t know how long it will take to get out of my snow boots, my snow pants, and one-piece long underwear. The trap with the two buttons in the rear may cause me some problems.”

An hour later…

“Jan, this is as close to the Christmas tree farm I can get. It says in the book this is where we are supposed to pull over to the side of the road and park in the mud with the hundreds of other cars.”

Jan agreed. “Gary, they wrote about this in Chapter 2: ‘Walking the Last 2 Miles Dragging Your Snow Toboggan On A Gravel Road.’”

Another hour passes…

The person who gets to select the tree is whoever has recuperated from the third degree burns to their mouth from the hot chocolate. The other person can’t have a say because they are thrashing around on the ground stuffing cold snow down their throat!

Time to drive home…

We begin the drive home with a 27-foot-long bushy fir tree stretching bumper to bumper on top of the car! I jimmied together a sophisticated series of bungee ropes and guide wires — but I still need to drive with my head and shoulders perched precariously outside the driver’s window.

Ten years ago…

Jan and I came to our senses. We purchased a plug & play Christmas tree complete with lights that twinkled that came in its own storage box. This served us well, but then we replaced it with a 4-foot tall, silvery-turquoise Charlie Brown-looking tree. It came with a storage box that stayed in the basement until each December.

This December…

We cannot find the damn tree! We have looked everywhere. My friend Ross suggested to get down on my hands and knees and look under the beds. No luck finding it. Also, no luck trying to get back up from the floor without calling out for Jan!

So, the time has come for a new book: ‘A Dummies Guide To Finding The Damn Artificial Christmas Tree & Avoiding Physiotherapy.’


Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.

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