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Because It’s Tradition, That’s Why!

Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me” by Comedian John Knight


Ouch! Ow! Son of a…sorry, just practicing. As soon as I’m done writing this we will be putting up the Christmas tree. I know we’re a little late to the party. Most people put the tree up the day after Halloween. I guess we’re just weird.

Before we do anything, I have to go into the crawl space under the stairs to drag out the decorations. This will involve back and knee pain and I will probably bang my head a couple of times. That’s what the Ouch and Ow are for. Always good to plan in advance.

I only have to do it once a year. Actually twice. I have to put everything back once the holidays are over and I get around to it. Usually sometime around March.

We have a new artificial tree this year. The old one started to fall apart, which I said it looked more like a real tree.  My wife didn’t agree. I also suggested we just get a small table top model that would take up less space. She looked at me like I said,

“Penn Dot’s construction projects are always done in a quick and efficient manner and don’t inconvenience anyone.”

I don’t know why I even bother making suggestions. I must like to hear myself talk.

If you think about it, lighted trees in the middle of the living room for Christmas make about as much sense as chocolate rabbits for Easter. I mean, what does either have to do with what we are celebrating? Of course we still do both.

Our new tree has the LED lights already on it. It makes decorating easier. Of course once the lights stop working, it’s a piece of crap. I hope it lasts through the holidays. I bought six strands of LED lights for the outside two years ago. They were guaranteed to last up to twenty five years. I didn’t read the fine print where it said,

“Or as little as one year.”

Two strands didn’t light last year, two more this year and if you do the math, next year I need to buy new lights. Maybe they have them guaranteed for up to fifty years now. Could get at least two or three out of those.

Here’s something you may not know. The first lights on Christmas trees were in the 1600’s. There was no electricity back then so they used candles. Because, fire and dry wood, what could go wrong? Somebody says,

“Let’s put a tree in the middle of the house and then light it on fire.”

And nobody replied,

“What kind of tree were you smoking?”

Most people lost their homes during Christmas in those days but put up a new tree the next year. It was custom after all.

Early electric bulbs weren’t much better. My dad had some old sets when I was a kid. If one bulb burned out the rest didn’t go with it. They would just suck up more electricity and burn even hotter. When it got close to New Years the tree would start to smolder. The fire extinguisher would be next to the nativity. We weren’t the only ones with those lights. You could hear fire trucks all night long. Ah, Christmas memories.

Anyway the new tree is the same height as our ceiling which should cause some problems. When I was a kid my father would always buy a tree that looked straight at the lot but would lean sideways once he brought it home and put it in the stand. I like to keep the tradition of frustration and swearing alive.

So wish me luck and hope this tree lights. If not I think I’ll use candles and burn the sucker down. Next year we’ll get a table top model.


Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

Order his book by clicking the icon below.


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