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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Tradition: Impossible

It’s officially holiday time in our house. Over the weekend, my wife made her annual demand that we go out and purchase a Christmas tree.

That’s right. The sap of yet another innocent New England evergreen is on our hands. As repeat offenders, I’m pretty certain we’ll someday be spending eternity suffering in tree hell.

Which is mostly like other hell. Only tree Satan uses pine cones instead of pineapples.

(Or he doesn’t, since pine cones are innocent unborn trees, too. Tree hell is kind of complicated, I bet.)

“Tree hell is kind of complicated, I bet.”

Anyway, my wife wanted a tree. A tree makes her happy. So on Saturday we went and picked out a tree. I’m not sure what goes into “picking out a tree”, exactly — if you’ve seen one dead conifer, you’ve seen ’em all, I always say — so I mostly stand around and nod in agreement that this one is too tall, or that one’s not full enough, or the needles on the one over there don’t ‘pop’.

For all I know, these trees are clones. Pray to tree Jeebus that someone you love is never kidnapped by a rogue blue spruce from the wrong side of the forest, if I’m the only witness. There’s no way I’d pick it out of a police lineup. Call me tree-judiced; they all look the same to me.

And now, we had a guy saw a few inches off the bottom of one of these things, and we plopped it in our living room. Because that’s what Christmas is all about, apparently. Unless you’re a pine tree. I don’t know what Christmas is about if you’re a pine tree. But it seems pretty gruesome.

We’ve also hung stockings by the fireplace. Because we have a fireplace, and again — that’s what you do, apparently, is dangle your oversized novelty footwear off of it. Heaven forbid you’d actually use it for fire. I don’t make the rules. I don’t understand the rules. That’s just what you do. So says my wife.

As usual, we have three stockings — one for me, one for the missus, and one for the dog. A stocking for the dog is the most asinine idea ever, for lots of reasons. First, the only sorts of ‘presents’ she wants are things she can eat. Nasty things like marinated pig ears or beef knuckles or petrified sheep scrota or whatever livestock part leftovers they’re selling in the pet stores these days. These are not items I want anywhere in the house, much less in the living room. And far less dangled over the fireplace, where we might actually start a fire one of these days and waft the aroma of severed yak ‘nads all over the freaking building.

For another thing, the mutt sniffs out treats like a police dog in an opium den. If we actually used the Christmas stocking the way most people do, putting gifts in several days — or minutes, even — before Christmas, the little turdhurler would have plastic and felt and unspeakable animal parts strewn all over the condo before you could say, ‘Deck the halls with jowls of piggy‘.

Fa la la la la, la la la bleeeeergh!

So the dog gets a stocking. We buy her treats, which we then hide like evil puppy misers until the very last minute, and place them in the stocking for approximately four seconds. And to save a horrifying — but festive! — mess, we then remove said treats from stocking and watch the dog stuff them down her greedy gob post-haste.

And then, most likely, hork them back up again all over the carpet. And, if there’s any mercy in the world, all over the tree. Some people make a turkey for Christmas. Others sing carols. These are my holiday traditions. Tree heaven help us all.

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