For me, Christmas trees are often the most depressing bits of post-holiday debris. In fact, this year it hit me while the holidays were still in full swing. On Christmas day I drove by a tree lot where twenty or so unsold trees were lying on their sides covered by snow like carcasses in a winter war. When I thought of all that went into growing, pruning, watering, cutting and shipping them– and for what? Just plain sad.
This tree funk was not helped by the fact that we decided to go small this year and buy from one of those instant outlets that pop up on abandoned lots. The two guys running it were from northern Wisconsin and said they lived on the lot in a tiny trailer without running water. They first came down to Chicago to sell pumpkins for Halloween and came back with the trees right after Thanksgiving.
We picked a smallish tree that seemed a little dry. Even so, it cost us $67. When we got it home and set up, it seemed even drier. We’d given it a fresh cut and water every day, but it soon stopped “drinking” and down came the needles. We were afraid to touch it–or even stare at it–because the needles seemed to cascade whenever we did. Our children affectionately called it a Charlie Brown tree. Here’s a picture of just some of the needles when we took it down over the weekend.
What you don’t see is the trail of needles the tree left on the floor all the way to the front door. It was like a bed of greenery designed as a path for the Queen of the Winter Solstice. In fact, if she ever shows up, she can take it to the city’s recycling point instead of me. It’s on the front porch, Queen. Help yourself.