O, Chraoibh Puinnseanta!


Al* reminded me this weekend that I haven’t introduced the world to my Christmas tree this year, and we discussed the reason why.


Well, reasons.


Well, reason.


Okay, this is already getting complicated but the problem is I truly don’t know where to begin.  Do I start with whose fault it is, or the first problem, or the end result?

(Hellraiser) Pinhead (man with nails in face) saying, "Shall we begin?"



Hang on, let’s address the end result issue:

Christmas tree done up in black, silver, and red ornaments; black and silver layered tree skirt


Yeah, that’s as good as it’s going to get.  Because—as everyone knows by now—I hate this house and everything about it, but right now I especially hate that it’s left me with nowhere but this awkward placement for my Christmas tree.  So it’s really difficult to get in one frame without also catching either the dog feeders or the clutter on the kitchen table or the moving boxes still stacked behind that chair in the living room (I need to craigslist those, I really do).  You may also note that this tree is not as well lit as my usual work, or as heavily decorated.  This is because of The Other Thing, so let’s back up a bit, shall we?


Our anniversary was… less than magical.  I mean, thank you for coming by and reading about how much we love each other but there’s a reason I didn’t post a cute story about the romantic thing we did that day.


We came home from bringing our Brindle hound into the vet (routine blood work, she’s fine and will live to be twenty; I’ve decided and none dare oppose me) to find that the Big Good Boy


had elected to reenact select scenes from the movie Carrie.  All.  Over.  The.  House.  Bloody pawprints everywhere, blood halfway up his leg, it was a mess.  I was sure he’d torn a nail and sent Husband back to start cleaning up the mess while I investigated whether he needed a wrap or a trim when I heard the scream.


Husband had found a puddle of blood you could drown a toddler in.**


Right about now you’re thinking, “Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be a story about her Christmas tree?”  Yes, and if you’ll hold on a moment we’re getting to that bit.  But first we have to deal with the sick dog and all the blood, don’t we?


Priorities, people!


So I examined the blood—yep, I’m a freak like that, don’t judge—and immediately determined that he’d vomited it up.  I called the vet about this while Husband started the cleanup process, looking for anything that could explain this amount of internal bleeding.  Our protagonist, one Very Big Good Boy, pranced around (if you’ve never seen a 90 lb dog prance you haven’t laughed) leaning on everyone to let us know he was Very Sorry for the mess and was feeling just fine thankyouverymuch and didn’t really need to go to the vet after all.


“See?  Iz fine now!”

Our vet disagreed.


If you’ve never walked a prancing 90 lb dog into an emergency veterinary hospital, knowing full well you’re paying several hundred dollars just to cross their doorstep, you haven’t cursed all that creatively.


He’s fine, by the way—he just got his dainty esophagus a little irritated and then ate too quickly, which caused some bleeding, which snowballed because he does everything bigger than normal dogs.


But Husband and I still came home to clean up, on our hands and knees and anniversaries, a lot of bloody vomit.***

(The Shining) a river of blood pours out of an antique elevator and down a hotel hallway

“Wait… we don’t even have an elevator”

After that, I needed a fucking Christmas tree.  Which we hadn’t gotten yet because we’d been traveling and busy until then.  So!

Charlie Brown and Linus walk onto a Christmas tree lot with searchlights and colorful artificial trees


ME:  (wandering, disappointed and disheveled)
TREE GUY:  Can I help ya find somethin’?
ME:  Well… yeah.  See, I think my tree is not out here (gestures at lovely set-up trees)  I think you put it back there (points at back of lot with piles of Secret Trees, which everyone knows are better)
TG:  (confused)  Oh, did you already buy a tree and we put it back—
ME:  Nonono, I just looked around at all of these (gestures) and they’re not… They don’t have… You know?
TG:  Oh!  Okay, You’re just lookin’ for somethin’ special and these are a little…
ME:  Sad.
TG:  Well, we did get some new ones in today, but they’re still pretty cold…
ME:  That’s fine!
TG:  Let’s go have a look… Now there’s these—
ME:  No, I need shorter needles this year.
TG:  Okay, good to know.  So we’ve got these gorgeous Frasiers over here…
ME:  Oooooh….
TREE:  (stands upright, creates zone of Christmas Perfection)****
TG:  Did… did it just start snowing?
ME:  It did!
HIM:  Uh… What about those cheaper ones over there?
TG:  Yeah, we can have a look at those.
ME:  (glares)
HIM:  (quietly)  You said we were going to spend less on the tree.  Because of the vet.
ME:  (sadly)  I know.
TG:  So we have these Scotch Pines… They’ve got a real nice look to them, very full, and I think they’ll give you a balance between the look you want and the sturdiness we were talkin’ about.
ME:  Hmmm…
TG:  (spins tree)
HIM:  I like it!
TG:  You want this one?  I could do it for… (quotes price)
ME:  (to Husband)  You think this is our tree?
HIM:  I do.
ME:  (skeptical)
HIM:  (firmly)  I really do.
ME:  Okay.  Wrap it up!  You deliver, right?
TG:  We do!


And I tipped the delivery guy in cookies and it was a perfect Christmas miracle.

haha NO!


Of course not!  Husband should never pick the tree!  He is not the Harbinger of The Christmas Spirit!  I am!


And I’m allergic to this fucking tree.


That’s why it’s barely lit and sparsely decorated: every needle poke was like a hypodermic full of fire.  I’m still (gross alert!) scabby from some of the sticks.  I broke out in hives the first day I tried to light it, every inch of my arms (I wore a tank top) except for my hands which I always protect with nitrile gloves.  (I don’t know why, but sap does not wash off your hands; arms yes, hands no.  It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe)


To be fair, it’s not just me.  Husband had to finish the lighting (hence the upper third being even dimmer, because he can’t do it the way I do) when I was covered in hives and screaming every time I brushed up against the damned thing.  Sure enough, he complained of pain too, though he didn’t get it as bad as I did.  

(Home Alone 2) Catherine O'Hara asks, "What is it with you and Christmas trees?"



AL:  Was it at least worth it?
ME:  No.  It stabbed me through sleeves and Benadryl didn’t work and it’s only meh after all that.
AL:  This deserves an Actual Conversation, if he picked the Tree of Poison.
ME:  He’s never picking our tree again.


burning christmas tree





* Whom you may remember as the friend who is ultimately responsible for all of this.  Thank her or blame her, she’s the one who talked me into putting the random crap we say to each other out there for public consumption.

** I’m guessing.  We didn’t test that, obviously.  We don’t keep a toddler handy for things like that and also we were way too freaked out by the sheer volume of blood to worry about how we’d tell the story later.  Apologies.

*** And diarrhea, because the medicine they gave him to settle his stomach caused diarrhea.  Like I said…

**** This actually happened.  Husband later asked—I am not making this up—“Why didn’t we just get that tree?”  I stormed off before I could hit him with the poison one.



17 comments on “O, Chraoibh Puinnseanta!

  1. Victor K says:

    First, the poor silly dog. And you two for having to clean up. No one comes out of that anecdote with a ‘good’ day.

    Second, that is sounding an awful lot like a reaction to, like, a pesticide or something as opposed to just the tree. Although it might be an evil, vengeful tree I guess. Yet another reason I am glad I have access to a large chunk of evergreen forest. Blue spruce is my tree of choice, although jack pine has worked in the past as well. To be fair, though, I am not an avatar of Christmas like yourself, so hiking through the snow to go find a tree and cut it down might not meet your standards.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, and I thought I had Christmas tree trouble when they fall down after being fully decorated or all the lights go out after being fully decorated. But, damn. Mine never try to kill me….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have nowhere good to put our tree either, so I feel your pain. But at least mine’s not trying to kill me. You win on that front, if you can call it winning.

    I’m gonna have to steal your nitrile glove idea. I have no idea why I never thought of that before.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Losing the Plot says:

    And no one would blame you if you did, except, you know…. that means more hives

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not been feeling christmassy, and then we were going away last weekend (and didn’t want to leave the housesitter with a cat AND a tree, because that’s just mean) so we only just put ours up yesterday. It’s plastic. It cost $15 sevenish years ago. The cat has already started pulling off the tinsel and this morning he toppled the whole thing.

    Such a magical time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We now suspect this is Alexander Hamilton’s first Christmas tree (we know he was with another family last year, but maybe they didn’t do a tree?) because he has the most inappropriate tree games. His favorite is the one where he races around the corner and lands on the tree skirt, s l i d i n g across the floor and upsetting my whole artistic vision. Sometimes he takes an ornament with him, and now he has a new ball as a reward for “sliding into third.”

      But then, just when I’m ready to wring his neck? I’ll catch him sitting quietly under the tree, looking up through all the lights and things, looking like a little angel lion. They save themselves with the cuteness, they really do.


  6. Vying for a place in the Top 5 of my favourite posts of yours. It pushed comedic boundaries (toddler sized pool of blood) to dizzying effect, and left us, the audience, feeling vengeful on your behalf, whilst instilling a warm glow that only the Christmas Spirit can bring. I use to work in a garden centre and am in full admiration of Tree Guy’s sale’s patter. Selling Christmas Trees was one of my favourite parts of the job. We have a cat who couldn’t be less interested in our Christmas tree, despite us hanging cat porn on the lower branches. We’re lucky to have that cat. Less lucky to feel the need to hang cat porn on our tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] he was done and went to have a lie-down, because our poison tree has not gotten any kinder and pokey things are the absolute worst for his pain.  I, meanwhile, had […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s