Oh, Christmas tree…

Just like little babies, everyone looks at your Christmas tree and gushes over it. Even the ugly, scraggly, deformed, spindly, and deformed ones. I’m not talking about artificial trees; they are ugly in their own way.

Today I will venture to our lot across the road and get a little tree. It will fit on top of the buffet. It will be a real tree. It will be perfect; at least that is what ML will say. The minimums for tree selection are at least one branch for every foot of height. I know you think that is a high standard, but you must have rules. The tree must also have sufficient strength to hold a bauble and a light without drooping all the way to the floor.

The purists out there will say, “You shouldn’t cut down real trees.” I consider it putting it out of its misery. I went so far as to trim and prune one that I considered a candidate for a future tree. It was too close to the road, and someone selected it before I got back to it.

When we were kids, my dad would venture into the wilds and return with a tree. Think of a tree pageant: my dad out in the snow and cold spinning a tree so my mom could select a side of the tree to work with. Then he would have to drill and add branches to make the tree better. Sort of AI for Christmas tree editing.

I was in New Brunswick for my grandfather’s funeral; it was near Christmas. I remember they brought the tree in a day or so before Christmas, and it had to go out before dinner. While it thawed, the tree was being consumed by spruce budworms. I think I remember the sound of the tree being devoured before our eyes, if not our ears. Rule three: the tree must be vermin and insect-free, at least as free as possible.

According to the CBC (Trudeau’s news agency), ugly trees are de riguer this year. Not one to miss out on participating in a trend, I will try to outdo Orillia with my tree selection. Ugliest tree, table top division.