O’ Christmas Tree

Chez Strachan’s Christmas tree was lovingly erected and decorated this morning. A real evergreen plant, it’s transformed our front room into a fir scented scene of festive warmth. Imparting a smidgeon of yuletide cheer so desperately needed after a challenging few weeks for the clan, following the passing of my wife’s mum a fortnight ago.

Not long ago our new ornament would’ve stood proud in a forest, wood or tree nursery, exchanging pleasantries with it’s adjacent Nordmann companions. Like minded saplings or older, residing in a community of peace while growing ever skyward as mother nature intended.

Existing in a woodland utopia, in receipt of a gratis water supply from cloud leaden skies, along with root nourishment from the fertile soil in which it stood. The trees residing there in the comfort of knowing that in the forest they’ve little chance of being subject to a Cliff Richard song, or indeed the sight of a drunken man adorning a paper hat and Jeremy Corbyn onesie peeing on it’s base.

An existence that couldn’t be less stress-free. The evergreen plants bearing no responsibilities, no work worries, no exposure to trashy reality shows and no worries about what to buy the missus for Christmas. A state of nirvana that couldn’t be bettered unless they met up with the tree version of beautiful actress Margot Robbie……. Trees (and very probably me) are pretty shallow that way!

Sadly, little do they know (or if they do they can’t make a run for it anyway) that come the beginning of December individuals, such as yours truly, will provide a market for them to be ungratiously hacked down and used as a three week house decoration.

A scenerio that in most cases deprives them of their roots. Not only condemning them to a slow demise, but also the chance of being stuck in a residence where they do play Cliff Richard songs, excitable kids abuse them in a multitude of ways and they’re subject to a plethora of s***e telly. Enduring situations where they don’t even get a twiglet to eat in recompense… Although, even if a tree could eat twiglets, I’m not sure they would – Potentially classing it as a form of lumber cannabilism.

Many will argue trees don’t possess feelings or emotions. Adding, if I’m that flipping bothered about committing arboriculture genocide why don’t I just purchase an artificial tree, akin to TV chef Anthony Worrell-Thompson.

Comments to which I’d respond “How do we know that these perennial plants are bereft of pain receptors?” The slow death we inflict maybe as tortorous as anything a moribund human experiences….. After all, as Shakespeare wrote “If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

Will (or Shakey as his mates at the local pub knew him) wrote those words for the character of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. Part of an oration by the Jewish money lender, arguing how his race bear the same cognitive and emotional responses as their Christian oppressors.

Admittedly, the prose wasn’t referring to trees, however in my random mind I like to think this swipe at people’s ignorance bears a metaphor on some level.

As for taking Christmas tree selection advise from Anthony Worrell-Thompson – After his admitted cheese theft from Tescos a few years back, he’s the last bloke I’d engage on the topic.

On a positive note, I’ll waylay some of the guilt I bear from having the Nordman tree cut down in its prime with the knowledge by at least giving it a dignified send off. This modest, but eco-friendly, feat undertaken when in January I recycle the tree at my local garden centre.

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