I’m a purist for getting a real Christmas tree. Christmas requires proper pain and suffering. It requires sap and frostbite and risking bringing a spider’s nest into your home. It requires agonizing with the tree stand for thirty minutes, turning those dumb little screws over and over, like that makes any difference.
Your plastic thing sucks and it’s made from lead and vinyl in a cancer-causing Chinese factory. That’s just bad mojo, and that don’t mix with the Christmas spirit, man. You know what else doesn’t mix with the Christmas spirit? That Giant-brand egg nog that comes in the creepy yellow container. It especially doesn’t mix with what you had for dinner, at all. Don’t do it, people.
I’m serious. Don’t do it.
Among us tree purists, there are two camps—and I’m certain the tree-chopper-downers sneer at us piddling tree-lot-warblers. But look, I did pull over on the side of the road at the tree lot and interact with a man who was wearing a sweatshirt that had “HILLBILLY DELUXE” emblazoned across the front. He was also selling sketchy cantaloupes which I’m certain aren’t in season. Just saying. Even if I didn’t get down on my knees in the snow and saw down a tree myself, I still did my share of required pain.
Side note: seeing sketchy fruit is always traumatic. Exhibit B: That three-pronged thing at the Asian supermarket.
One thing us tree purists can agree on is the scent of fresh pine. But I think we often overlook the most awesome part of a real Christmas tree. It’s a freaking TREE. INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. A TREE! THAT YOU DECORATE! It’s the ultimate houseplant on steroids. This is amazing. Life is amazing.
Every year, one of me and the wife’s Christmas traditions is to each pick out a new ornament for the tree. We go to Valley View Farms, a garden center that becomes a Christmas compound with 543394835 ornaments in one place. That’s the exact number. I counted them.
So in what has become a blog tradition, here is what we picked out.
MY PICK: THIS STING RAY.
He looks like he’s swimming in the tree. I had this guy in the running with a basketball playing sock monkey. If there had been a gorilla ornament in the animals section, I might have gone gorilla, but after seeing this guy swim in the tree, I have complete confidence in my 2011 pick.
THE WIFE’S PICK: ANOTHER PIG.
We have a bit of a pig problem in our household. The wife swears that she does not collect pigs. She claims that all her pigs were acquired because people gifted them to her. Over the years, she became pinned as the girl who liked pig stuff, and it became an uncontrollable thing. A pig thing. This is what she claims. I’m letting the pig out of the bag. She totally buys that shit.
“You already have like a million other pig ornaments,” I said.
“This is not a pig. It’s Olivia,” she said.
Whoever that is.
“Alright fine, but then the tree is going to be dominated with pigs.” I said.
“You don’t like my pigs?”
“Our tree is going to look like A Very Country Christmas.”
The ornament wars had begun. Ornament wars are very real and can be more contentious than closing-the-cabinet wars and loading-the-dishwasher wars.
“Maybe we should just pick out one or two of the best pigs for the tree,” I said.
She let the subject change and we proceeded to check-out. I figured I had won. I felt pretty good about myself. One or two of the best pigs. Marriage is all about compromise.
Of course, you the reader know as well as I do that all the pigs are on that tree right now. And before you think I’m a jerk for even questioning the pigs, I think it’s because you haven’t actually seen them and will take my side in the ornament wars. So here they are.
PIG OFFENDER #1.
Jingle Bell pig. He’s missing a leg, so I sort of feel bad for him. I’d let this pig stay. He ties in with Christmas.
PIG OFFENDER #2.
This one is sort of neutral and alright, I guess. I’d let him stay, somewhere in the back of the tree.
PIG OFFENDER #3.
This one is terrible, but at least I get it. The wife used to take ballet. So there’s that.
PIG OFFENDER #4.
Golf-playing pig is where I start to get uncomfortable. It’s garish and weird, and not in a good nostalgic way. Why does she have a golf-playing pig? She doesn’t even like golf. Also, the size of this thing is approaching infant size.
PIG OFFENDER #5.
But hey, like I said, Christmas requires proper pain and suffering.