Every year around Christmas – because it would be weird to do in June – I vacillate between real or artificial Christmas tree.
I’m no environmental maven – I have been known to order my food to-go while sitting in the restaurant…just so I have the option of leaving when I want to. ‘The man’ isn’t going to control my comings and goings. I also have an impressive collection of travel mugs which never actually travel out of the house with me, forcing my addiction to accept one more paper cup at my drive-through coffee dealer. My issue with getting a real tree does not have much to do with the ecological effects. The amount of oils for plastic and energy it takes to manufacture an artificial tree is actually quite shocking. Nature just pops these things out like Duggar kids. My problem is this; the idea of a what I see to be as a living, sentient being in my living room dressed up like a Vegas showgirl on display for all to see, seems wrong somehow. Objectification of trees? Is that even a thing? Even worse is the removal of the body after we’ve all had our fun with it. For most people, a few days after Christmas and they are denuding their showgirls of baubles and bling and tossing them out into the back alley. I have been known to keep my Christmas tree up until the last week of January, so now I’m the one from the Bates Motel who keeps the dead thing sitting in my living room, living the lie that everything is fine. I spend my days sitting in the same room as the tree, drinking tea, making small talk with it while sweeping up its daily detritus of glitter and used needles. It’s looking more like a crime scene every day. However, now because it’s the end of January and I’m the last one to bring out my dead, I have to go to elaborate lengths to conceal my crimes of procrastination. I bag it from top to bottom, rolled in a carpet if I have one handy because, really, what good serial killer doesn’t have a disposable rug in the house, then drag it out to the garbage bin under the cover of darkness. If it doesn’t fit in the garbage can I will need to tamp it in with my shovel, and by tamp I mean smash.
A Buddhist acquaintance of mine says that it is the intention attached to the object rather than the object itself. I see where he’s going with that.
My intention is to make this a little less criminal, a little more traditional. the best part is, defining tradition is up to me. For now, I will stick with the artificial tree, but it’s also entirely possible I will expand my tradition to include try a cardboard tree, or a pile of used tires with garland around them. The intention is to make the intention pure. The intention is to define tradition how I want to.
Tires it is.
There is also the notion that, perhaps, the fewer things in my home which I fear are plotting revenge or loading up Karmic debt against me, the better. I might keep with the artificial tree for now, but perhaps I’ll also start working on a good solid alibi for next year just in case…
Happy New Year!