Just like everybody else, my family has their Christmas traditions. On December first, no matter how terrible the weather outside is, we all bundle up and go forth to cut a tree down. We trudge through feet of snow, carrying an old rusty saw, and then chop down a gorgeous tree for our own uses. We strap this unfortunate spruce to the roof of our car and bring it home. By this time, we are all on the edge of hypothermia. I fix them hot chocolate and herd them toward the heat from the furnace. My husband and I tackle the tree. Although the tree is dirty, wet, in addition to dripping with sap, we drag it through the house and set it up in our living room. You will discover pine needles scattered all over the place. I’ve ruined three vacuum cleaners sucking up the debris from the yearly Christmas tree. There’s no way to clean up all of the needles. For the next few months, they will stab my children in the feet as punishment for killing the tree. Since spruce trees are not supposed to be kept in a room where the furnace is blasting at full speed 24 hours a day, we give it plenty of water. Of course, the dog continually drinks this water as well as dehydrates the tree. There is no good place to keep the tree other than near the supply register for the furnace. The HVAC system then circulates the particular smell of the tree at home. I would like to replace this old, outdated tradition with a new one. I would choose to spend my Christmas in an air conditioned hotel room, and order room service. Rather than cutting down a spruce, I want to look out the eye port at palm trees.


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