Archive for January 7th, 2012


Christmas trees are unacceptably smug, don’t you think?

So the silly season draws at long last to its close. The expensive presents have been given, the ludicrously calorific meals are a distant, and sometimes painful memory. There are a few of the tins of sweets which have a few forlorn coffee creams rattling around the bottom of them. But that’s it. Christmas/New Year 2011 is done, finished, never to be seen again. Thank frik!

Except it’s not, there’s still one last thing to be dealt with. Taking down the decorations.

Now I could speak about the horror that those nut jobs who deck out their entire houses, outside and in, with sparkly crap are currently going through. But I truly feel that if you had to insist on making your entire house look like the lighting department of a major electronics store puked on it, well you deserve what’s coming to you. Ten thousand lights? Robotic Santa’s? Motion activated singing reindeer? I mean seriously? What the hell were you thinking? Well whatever it was I bet the electricity company loves you right now.

No instead I will speak here about the hell that follows the more, discrete holiday decorator. Undecking the damn Christmas tree. After all everything else is a piece of cake. Garlands, and self-standing ornaments almost pack themselves away. But that six-foot, plastic tree in the corner just looks…smug. There’s no other word for it but smug. That sort of coniferous creep is taunting you, just standing there, still covered in fragile porcelain ornaments, and those blasted twinkling lights.

So you screw up your courage, and start to divest it of its many ornaments. Of course no matter how careful you are one crashes to the ground. Aww well one less to deal with next year. But that part goes pretty well. How can it not? You just lift them off, put them in a box and put them away. Childs play.

Actually this is one time of year it would be nice to have children. To make them take down all the decorations. “Hey kids it’s going to be just as much fun as putting the tree up was!” Then to watch their little hearts break as it dawns on them that there’s a whole year to go until the next one. Why it almost makes you want to sing this…


Unfortunately the childs play section ends when the last of the ornaments, and strings of beads are taken down. Now you’re into the nasty part, the removal of the lights. I genuinely think that the manufacturers of these electrical torments design them so that they tangle. This of course leads to the occasional psychotic break, which leads to the second part of my conspiracy theory. The light manufacturers get a cut from the money made by psychiatric care world-wide. My evidence for this, let’s all it a suspicion? Why the fact that they tangle AS you carefully remove them from the tree. No matter how much care you take, as you wrap them onto a frame, or a piece of stick, or a handy passing child, they just tangle. So you’re standing there, staring at this birds nest of wires and bulbs, left horrified by the knowledge that in 11 months and a couple of weeks time you’ll be the one who has to untangle them again.

But it’s done then, finished. Nothing more to do but polish off those last few sweets, and bask in the glow of a de-yuled home. Oops forgot to take down the tree. Needless to say that’s about the time when the tree bites, extracting its pound of flesh. For is it not written (here admittedly, but it’s still written) that the dark yuletide gods require their blood sacrifice before they will allow their avatars to go quietly into their annual sleep?

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