That is the question. Whether ’tis . . . Well, you get the idea. We’re trying to decide whether to put up a Christmas tree this year. It’s a tough decision that surely would give Hamlet pause.
On the pro side, I like the look of a tree. It’s festive, it’s colorful, and it’s traditional. We’ve had many of our ornaments for years, and they have some real sentimental value. A pine tree in the house smells good. (I would never get a fake tree.) And, I don’t want to seem like a Grinch. If you’re celebrating the holidays, why not go the whole nine yards?
On the con side, a Christmas tree is a pain to lug home, put up, and take down. My initial job is always to bring the tree in and get the trunk of the tree into the tree stand. I wrestle the tree through the door and leave a green trail of pine needles from the door to the corner where we put up the tree. Then I get on my belly, scuttle under the tree while getting poked by pine needles and soaked by tree droppings, and try to figure out how to configure the stupid screws in the tree stand against the knots and burls of the tree trunk to hold the tree in true upright position. Inevitably, despite my finest screw-related calibrations, the tree tilts and falls down, unleashing a torrent of unseemly language that is utterly antithetical to such fundamental Christmas concepts as joy and peace.
After the tree is finally up, we have to find the Christmas ornaments in the basement, get the tree lights out and see if they work, and schlep all the stuff upstairs. While we are decorating the tree, Penny is clamping down on low-lying ornaments and pulling them off the tree or, worse, pulling the tree down for good measure. Even Good King Wenceslas would be feeling uncharitable by this point.
This year I’m inclined to nix the tree and go with the stockings, perhaps a poinsettia or two, and maybe a candle arrangement. Call me Scrooge. And I just know I’ll feel guilty about it.