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How Not To Take Down Your Christmas Tree

January 02, 2005

In case you were wondering, in case you were sitting at home pondering ways in which you should definitely NOT take down your Christmas tree, like, you were thinking to yourself, "Self, exactly what would be the worst possible way to take down a Christmas tree, and what is the way that is most likely to involve destruction?" and this question had been just EATING AWAY at your brain, then people, this entry is for you. Because I have recently learned the answer to this question. There may have been bleeding.

Step One: Believe strongly that it is VERY BAD LUCK to leave your Christmas tree up after New Year's Eve. Believe that demons will rise from the depths of hell and probably eat your kneecaps or hide your car keys. Believe that if you DO happen to leave your Christmas tree up one second after the stroke of the New Year, you are RUINED, FINISHED, and all the bad luck that will befall you in 2005 will be ENTIRELY ON YOUR OWN HEAD, the end.

Step Two: Despite this strong belief, procrastinate! Put off taking the tree down until 4:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Be alone at the time. Decide that undressing and removing a seven foot tree from your den is TOTALLY NOT GOING TO BE A PROBLEM, because you are a Big Girl, and you don't have to call anybody for help, even though you have a boyfriend with really big, strong arms. Ignore this fact. Call upon your twin inner resources of "stubborn" and "deluded."

Step Three: Pour self a glass of wine.

Step Four: Gaze at tree. Size up situation. Joke to dogs, "We're going to need a bigger boat!" Dogs don't get it. Probably because it doesn't exactly make sense.

Step Five: Start removing ornaments. Become frustrated with putting ornaments back in individual plastic containers. Also note that tree is very, very dead, having been erected in den sometime in November in flurry of misdirected Christmas spirit.

Step Six: Pour self a glass of wine.

Step Seven: Make executive decision that all ornaments will be placed in large box with tissue paper. Figure that any ornaments who do not survive trip to attic will have brought that upon themselves. Decide it is a "survival of the fittest" type situation, and praise self for appreciation of Darwin's natural selection process.

Step Eight: Realize process will be much more fun if self is also watching Sopranos Season Three finale on DVD while undresing tree. Take appropriate steps to make this happen.

Step Nine: Note again that tree is extremely dead. Pine needles are all in hair.

Step Ten: HATE LIGHTS. Hate lights INTENSELY. Lights are the worst idea ever in the history of Christmas. Also, lights will not come off of tree. Consider scissors.

Step Eleven: Pour self a glass of wine. Blame lights.

Step Twelve: TREE IS FINALLY UNDRESSED. Gaze at tree. Split attention with Sopranos season finale, which is really good. Begin appraising situation for getting tree out of den. Decide to just pick it up and haul it out the back door with stand still attatched. Good plan. GOOD THINKING!

Step Thirteen: Lift tree, directly into:

Step Fourteen: Ceiling fan, which is ON, which causes tree to:

Step Fifteen: Explode.

Step Sixteen: As pine needles rain about self, panic. Drop tree, which leads attatched Christmas tree stand to:

Step Seventeen: Spill water all over floor, causing:

Step Eighteen: Pine needle soup-substance everywhere, EVERYWHERE in the WORLD, all over sofa, floor, and self.

Step Nineteen: (Dogs are FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW, by the way.)

Step Twenty: Pour self a glass of wine.

For the rest of the evening before going out to celebrate the New Year, I cleaned up pine needles and water. There were pine needles on the mantle. There were pine needles on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen. And, when I went upstairs to get showered, I found pine needles in my bra. And I had been wearing a turtleneck, people. Think about the physics that must have been involved for that to happen! IT BOGGLES THE MIND!

So! If you follow my plan exactly, you will end up with one less tree, scrapes all over your wrists and arms, and a faint pine aroma that will probably linger in your house until probably February. But one thing is certain: You sure as FUCK better not have any bad luck in 2005.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Posted by doxie in Times I Fell Down | permalink


Oh god, this just about made me piss my pants!

Posted by: Jilly | January 2, 2005 07:57 PM

You know, I thought the time I took a dead Christmas tree out of my apartment and dragged it down the hall, into the elevator, through the parking garage and to the dumpster (leaving a thick carpet of needles that I needed to clean up using my only vacuum at that time, which was a Dirt Devil Hand Vac) was bad. But no. You certainly win the award for Worst Christmas Tree Taking-Down Experience.

Posted by: Mirella | January 2, 2005 08:16 PM

I used to feel deprived that we've never gotten a real Christmas tree, but I now see that fake is clearly the way to go, especially if you're not a fan of pine needle soup, and I'm pretty sure I'm not.

Posted by: Lauren | January 3, 2005 12:47 AM

See now, my Christmas tree is a wee one planted in a little pot, so I had to keep it, but I did undress it and move it outside before the New Year, so hopefully that should alleviate any cursing?

Posted by: Heather | January 3, 2005 07:36 AM

how do these things always happen to you?

Posted by: beth | January 3, 2005 09:43 AM

You know, after reading that entry, I'm beginning to think that the artificial fiber-optic tree is not entirely a BAD thing...

Posted by: Coleen | January 3, 2005 10:22 AM

Oh my gosh, that was hilarious. Good thing my tree is fake, there is no icky pine needle soup to be had. Hooray!

Posted by: Erin | January 3, 2005 11:35 AM

Hee. Thanks for bringing the funny to my decidedly crappy Monday morning. But. No thanks for reminding me that I REALLY REALLY need to take down my dead Christmas tree. Shit.

Posted by: Heather | January 3, 2005 12:08 PM

Will you come take down our tree?? We have lots of wine and a guest bedroom even so you can rest up after it's done.

Posted by: Brian | January 3, 2005 12:22 PM

Hee... so THAT'S what that murky stuff all over my carpet is... pine-needle soup! Whew... took mine down yesterday and MY. GOD. THE. NEEDLES. Most of them ended up on my front walkway, where I swept them onto the lawn. That I cut through from my parking spot every time. DOH!

Posted by: Anne A. | January 3, 2005 08:40 PM

I would just like to commend you for being responsible and recycling your Christmas tree. Also, think of the gas you saved by not driving all the way to some random parking lot tree chipper place. I never would have thought to use the ceiling fan. You are so resourceful! So, you have recycled AND prevented pollution and traffic all in one day! Not to mention the fact that you posted step by step instructions so that we may all recycle our trees at home too! The environment thanks you. We all thank you. ...And that totally sounds like something I would do. ;) Happy New Year.

Posted by: Heather | January 4, 2005 04:27 AM

I keep finding pine needles from taking down the tree two years ago, when very dry tree got jammed in very narrow hallway. Haven't had a tree since then. Mark: two years ago when I was living in A DIFFERENT APPARTMENT. So, if you hope to ever get rid of the needles, you have to at least move twice.

Posted by: Silke | January 4, 2005 06:26 AM

HAH! Wine, good. Tree snot, bad.
Friends took pieces off their tree and fed them into their lit fireplace. The pieces literally went WOOOSH as they instantly burst into flame.
Unfortunately we have a sealed as fireplace at home, but with the right flame and the right pair of scissors ...

Posted by: Lissa | January 4, 2005 09:24 AM

That? Was awesome! Just out of curiosity, how were you planning on getting a 7-foot tree out the door without tipping it on its side and spilling the pine needle soup there? I still have to take down my tree (I'm in for some bad luck in 2005) and need to take notes on this.

Posted by: Shawna | January 4, 2005 10:59 AM

How many steps involve alcohol? Maybe a 12 step program would be appropriate.

Posted by: El Dukay | January 4, 2005 11:36 AM

My dad wrote me an email saying tonight he would take down his dead tree. I just copied this and sent it off to him. Thanks, Doxie, you have just saved my daddy some troubles!

Happy New Year to you. May you have lotsa wine and buy many shoes. And not fall down too much.

Posted by: Em | January 4, 2005 01:33 PM

I took down my tree on December 30th. I wasn't planning to. I actually went underneath to water it and next thing I knew, the tree had fallen down on top of me. Ornaments everywhere (broken & otherwise). Picture me, with my butt in the air, covered with 7.5 feet of pine. My kids in the background laughing hysterically and my husband screaming: "Where is the camera? I think we have next year's Xmas card photo!"

No wine was involved. Until afterward.

Posted by: Tracy | January 4, 2005 04:54 PM

I tried to explain the bad luck if your tree is still up in the New Year to someone the other day. She acted as if I was insane. Is this just a southern thing?

Posted by: rbelle | January 5, 2005 03:25 AM

My dad is Spanish, and there were still Christmas-y things going on til January 6th [Epiphany for some folks, Dia de los Reyes for us]. So I don't take the tree down until at least Jan. 6th.

On the other hand, I don't put the tree up until nearly Christmas Eve.... much to the delight of the two cats, who get to watch us put this marvelous toy together, and then see us leave for church....

Posted by: Rhet | January 5, 2005 11:40 AM

Shit. Am fucked this year... again. Why? Because I just read this post... NOW. January 7. *Stares at Christmas tree lights blinking*

Well hell. At least I've got no pine needle soup to deal with. Praise Jesus for fake trees. Amen.

Doxie? You kill me woman, in the best possible way. Thank you for the laugh. I'm sick and icky and a walking NyQuil commercial, so, thank you darlin, eversomuch.

Oh yeah. Happy New Year, Miss Doxie, El Dukay, all Gizillion doggies, and Doxie Family too!

Love, Scarlett Cyn

Posted by: Scarlett Cyn | January 7, 2005 12:02 PM

I'm a native Atlantan and never heard about the bad luck. I'm taking my tree down on Sunday (the remaining trunk at least, as branches have already snapped and fallen off in crunchy bits). Will have wine handy, thanks for the tip! Also, my cat drinks the pine needle soup in the stand, perhaps your doxies can be trained thusly? Unless this would inflict upon them some kind of sap disorder...

Posted by: renee | January 7, 2005 12:32 PM

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