Thursday, December 22, 2011

RE: (Holiday Humor) Oh, Christmas Tree of Controversy

Oh, Christmas Tree of Controversy
Trees. Oh, converter of carbon dioxide, emitter of oxygen; rife with all manner of positive symbolism such as growth, life, and knowledge. They are genuinely nature's good guy.
Until Christmastime, that is, when regular ol' evergreens transform into seasonal symbols eliciting spirited debates. That's when the Douglas fir really starts to fly and away we go in a manger.
Like so many insidious instruments of divisiveness it goes by many ambiguous names. However, no matter which way you cut it down — whether you call it a Yule tree, a Christmas tree, or a Holiday tree — it is, most assuredly, a Tree of Controversy.
I don't know if my personal “Wonder Years” represented a simpler time, or if it's merely that I was simpler, but when I was growing up a Christmas tree was just a Christmas tree. The majority of the people I knew who had a pine of some sort seemed to have the identical version — slightly spindly and decorated with tinsel — but some of the “rich folks” had flocked trees.
The truly daring (usually estrogen-heavy households) opted for a pink, flocked tree. Certainly where there was not a tree, there might have been a Menorah or some other cultural talisman for the season. In fact, there wasn't much ado being made about the having of a Christmas tree or the not having.
Nevertheless, the times, they are a changing. This means the wind they're blowing in may not be pine-scented in the future since one man's decorative highlight is another man's perceived nose thumbing.
To summarize the political hullabaloo: It seems several people are ticked off that other citizens are making them gaze upon a Christmas tree when it's so not their thing.
While separation of church and state may be at the crux of the public controversy, I would venture to say there's a fair amount of separation of husband and wife in the private sector as well, due to this non-deciduous symbol of incitement.
The disagreements may not be exactly alike, but there is a shared premise: Two parties do not view the same thing the same way and no one is coming out of this thing unscathed. This argument pits them against one another and they need to hash it out and come to a mutually acceptable decision.
To summarize the domestic hullabaloo: It seems several family members get ticked off when they are forced to stare at a type of Christmas tree that is so not their thing.
Let me elaborate based upon my own experience. The real lightning rod of controversy centers on scoring the perfect evergreen. During this process our family uses technical terms like “bushy” and “branchy” when communicating our desires and expectations which apply to our prospective tree.
(We are quite devoted to the little known art of adding “y” to most any word in order to tone down the overwhelming connotative load of the aforementioned word in its original form-y.)
Which type of tree we adopt — the aforementioned bushy or branchy one — is dependent upon who won the rock-paper-scissors contest for that year. The branchy one is more like the tree
of our youth and it makes my husband very happy when we stare gape-mouthed at that vision of wonder.
Historically, I have been a fan of the branchy. In any case one thing is for certain. We will acquire a tree that is much too tall for our non-cathedral ceilings.In point of fact, it will barely fit through the door and will not be able to assume the vertical position until Edward
Scissorhands gets to it. Now, my husband is a musician and, as such, you would think a man who relies upon his hands to create dulcet, sweet, thrashing rock ‘n' roll chords would be careful. Nope, nope, nope.
You would be wrong because he is darned confident in his slashing abilities, perhaps due to his admirable musical chops.It's like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy has taken on a part-time job as a tree trimmer, there are so many plant parts flying.
I am always petrified I will have to fashion a tourniquet out of evergreen boughs as
I wait and watch to see if Rudolph will be emerging in topiary form.
When we're all done, there's more tree on the floor than in the stand, but it is now
lofty, poised, and looks as though it was meant for that corner.
It's a lot like childbirth in that way; you remember only the joy, not the pain … until the next

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