December 15th, 2008

ho ho ho

"Trimming" a tree, I was surprised to discover, has nothing to do with making it shorter, or even. It involves putting on a big furry hat and hanging things from the tree. This involves taking out the boxes that fill an entire closet during the rest of the year while trying to consume a half gallon of vegan eggnog. There will be some attrition every year. Usually one to three ornaments will not survive to the next years trimming. It is important to be happy during the trimming.

Tree-trimming with a Victrola is a more active event than tree-trimming with a CD player. With the Victrola, someone is required every three to five minutes to change the disk, BUT, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" on a 78 rpm record made in 1943 (from the 1942 musical Holiday Inn don'tcha know) is much much better than Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" on a CD, which is soulless.

When trimming your tree it is important to have a qualified tree inspector.

The tree inspector will search your tree for birds nests, birds, and things that smell funny. They will investigate the top branches and see just how much weight they will hold and they will also check to make sure that the base of your tree is sturdy and that the tree is not liable to tip over if, say, a 19 lb ornament is placed on one side.

A qualified tree inspector is usually also a highly qualified tinsel inspector.

Tinsel must be checked for taste and action. The inspector will also see how far they can drag one end of it and what they can get the other end wrapped around in the interim. It is also the tinsel inspector's job to guard the tinsel from other would-be inspectors.

If you have good inspectors, your tree will look good, and you will have a good holiday season. Un-inspected trees or tinsel are a happiness hazard.

Dead conifer trees and fires don't seem to go together, especially when IN ONE'S LIVING ROOM, however the compulsion to light the fireplace during tree trimming is overwhelming. It's a good idea to keep extra egg-nog on hand in case the tree catches alight. Should it catch, it will burn completely in about eleven seconds at a temperature of about six million degrees so there will be no time to run to the fridge for more. I've seen photographs of Xmas trees WITH CANDLES ON THEM i can only imagine that this is trick photography of a very malicious nature. If you can, keep your tree up until april, then take it out in the back yard and put a match to it. The result is extremely satisfying in a very visceral way and it keeps your home festive for months. Do not resist the temptation to keep putting presents for your loved one beneath the tree throughout the year. Everybody loves getting gifts.

This has been a public service announcement.
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