Woody: To tree or not to tree
By LARRY WOODY
About this time of year, we have the Great Christmas Tree Debate at our house:
My wife and I don't know if we should bother putting up a Christmas tree, since our kids are grown and gone (although one may still be living in the attic; we hear strange thumps late at night, and food is sometimes missing from the refrigerator.)
Getting a tree is a hassle. It's expensive, it's messy and it can be dangerous.
First, the hassle:
Santa complains that federally-mandated elf insurance is costing him an arm and leg, and Ms. Santa has been nagging him to sell out and move to Palm Beach.
When we got it home we had to turn the bare side to the wall and wedge a copy of "Killing Lincoln'' under the stand to prop it up-right. It was a bit of a holiday bummer to be reminded of Abe's untimely demise every time we looked at our Christmas tree.
And the tree was expensive. I remember back when you could have bought the forest for what one tree costs today. Of course back then we didn't BUY a Christmas tree; we went out in the woods and chopped one down. If you try that now, some park ranger will get his knickers in a wad.
Our Christmas tree stand has a bowl in which water is poured to keep it fresh. The problem is, Buddy the Lab drinks it. For some reason he prefers gummy Christmas tree water over the water in the toilet bowl, where he normally drinks.
Worst of all, Christmas trees can be dangerous. Before you haul a dry, sap-oozing, highly-combustible conifer into your home and hang hot bulbs with frayed wiring on it, make sure your homeowners insurance is paid up. And by all means, keep Uncle Al and his smoldering stogies on the other side of the Christmas tree barricade.
Frankly, when you consider all the downsides, I'm puzzled why we do it year after year.
Pajama-clad little feet no longer scamper excitedly through the house on Christmas morn, but a Christmas tree brings back memories of when they did. So, as usual, we'll give in and get one.
Tree-time comes only once a year. Surely we can survive it.