MERRY ‘LOOK! DO YOU WANT ME TO HELP OR NOT?’ – Living Retired #128
One of the biggest Christmas traditions is upon us.
Fresh or frozen?
I’m not talking about the turkey. I’m talking about the Christmas tree.
If you decide to purchase a frozen tree you drive to a parking lot. There you pick from a vast selection of blobs of frozen boughs. Retailers like to sell frozen trees because you can’t see the bare spots!
Back home, when the tree thaws– and gooey sap sticks to the living room carpet– you realize there isn’t a bare spot- there are bare SPOTS!
This is when the next Christmas tradition occurs. Your wife sarcastically snaps, “Why on earth did you buy this one?”
At this point yet another Christmas tradition takes place when men holler back, “Look! Do you want me to help or not?”
On the other hand if you are considering taking the family out and chopping down a fresh tree all I can say is, “What on earth are you thinking?”
It is a lot of work…
First you have to make sure you have all the necessary equipment:
Chain saw, hack saw, cross saw, rip saw, back saw, and sawzall: Check!
Tornniquet and yards of white first aid gauze: Check!
Air ambulance telephone number on speed dial: Check!
Kids in Michelin man lookalike snow suits. Check!
Your wife in her new matching outfit she purchased for going Christmas tree chopping! Check!
Thermos of hot chocolate heated to a temperature approaching that of steaming lava flowing from Mt. Vesuvius. Check!
Here comes the next tradition. As you back the car out the driveway, the youngest child says, “I have to pee!”
Eventually you arrive at the Christmas tree farm. Actually you aren’t their yet. First you have to park on the side of the highway– then hike the last two miles.
After carrying the kids– plus the chain saw, hack saw, cross saw, rip saw, back saw, and sawzall– you arrive at the Christmas tree farm.
The next step is: more steps!
You have to trek through acres of forests mired in mud; there is no snow. Climate change means the farm hasn’t seen anything white since grandpa emptied the ashes from his coal burning furnace.
By this time your wife is very upset. Her new black leather stacked heel ankle boots that match her outfit are covered in horse droppings from the carriage that hauls trees back to your car.
Oh did I mention that your dog is now rolling in the mud!!
The real fun is about to begin: deciding on the tree you’re going to chop down.
Men have a simple formula to determine the height of the tree: it is the length of the car, doubled.
When everyone has agreed on the tree– meaning everyone is too cold to argue anymore– it is time for a man to do his work.
First, the youngest child says, “I’m going to pee in my snowsuit!”
Then the dog pees on the tree you picked out.
And your wife looks at you wearing that silly Elmer Fudd hat with flaps and cries out loud: “If I laugh any more I’m going to pee!”
Surely everybody can wait for a selfie. Besides the selfie needs to be taken BEFORE the gauze and tourniquet are applied.
VROOOM! The chainsaw roars to life. The kids start to cry. And the dog high tails it into the next County chasing the squirrel that fell from the tree!
You can count on a quiet trip home.
Mom and dad aren’t talking. Besides, dads head is cranked outside the car window trying to see past the tree extended over the front bumper.
Mom has the last word, under her breath.
“I don’t know why I put up with this!”