Oh, Tante Baum
Something has to be done to stop this senseless evergreen slaughter. And fast.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a hypocrite. I've wood somewhere in the knob and tube palace even though it just seems like its built out of crumbling plaster and rotting mortar. I've used and enjoyed toothpicks. There's an air freshener in my car. I'm just wondering if we can slow the carnage of the Christmas tree hunt that is slowly decimating our sentience-challenged friends of the woods who certainly have rights of some kind if we conjure loosely enough over an old copy of the Constitution.
Christmas is an inherently dangerous holiday when you think about it hard enough and I'm not talking about the emotional trauma of a box of socks and underwear when you had been hoping for a slot car set or having to kiss moustachio'd Aunt Gert for the first time since your birthday and the willies from that haven't been shaken off yet.
The first Christmas tree, the thing with all the lights in it, was inspired by a traveller in the north woods, walking at night on the night of the solstice. Apparently he looked up into the piney forest and was awed by the bright lights of the stars poking through the branches just before he collapsed and died of hypothermia.
The solstice is incidentally the shortest day of the year and was celebrated by the pagans-an animist faith that believed in enjoying oneself and as such was soon wiped off the cultural map by more established religions who knew better-as a festival of observance of six more months of this winter shit until the longest day comes around and we can get back to outdoor copulation.
So the idea of lights in the trees was brought inside the house. Predictably by the Germans who, as a people, could not physically camp until the introduction of the Recreational Vehicle Trailer Park with power and sewer hookup. They would slaughter some unsuspecting spruce, drag it inside and festoon it with candles, wholly ignoring the idea that their throwing logs on the fire to burn was essentially the same concept of physics, only on a grander scale. After one too many burgs went up and there were no more travelling pipers to blame, they latched onto the idea of fire safety. Here arose the tradition of soaking the youngest son in water for ten to twelve hours such that he was damp enough to throw himself on the tree to smother and douse it in case of the inevitable fire. This was a tradition they carried over into the age of electric lighting with predictably disasterous results.
As such, they got out of the lighting business and focused their energies to making the most beautiful, elaborate, eye-catching ornaments for the tree out of mercury, the most toxic substance you can possibly introduce into your living quarters short of sauerbraten.
But are you getting the general drift? Here is a celebration who's rituals include dragging a flammable item into an enclosed space and wrapping it in an ignition source while hanging fragile highly breakable toxic items precariously on its pointy, needle-laden, dying branches.
This sort of thing is tolerated by the same government who has outlawed anything more potent than an exploding paper bag on Independence Day and who is eyeing Hallowe'en with bureaucratic suspicion? An administration who needs to slap big orange warning stickers on window blinds (Attention: Will not completely obscure your fat naked ass coming out of the shower from the neighbors. Do not blame us for comments like "nice balcony over the toy shop") and confiscates nail clippers that could not gnaw through cheese at every airport?
We've either lost our secular mind or are high on sap.