Getting Rid Of The Christmas Tree Ain't All That Bad

I'm usually last among our neighbors to do anything.

Mow the lawn?


Trim the hedge?


Rake the leaves?


Clean out the gutters? I hate climbing up and down ladders.


Last. Last. LAST.

I usually have to be on the ragged edge of shame before I take action to stave off complete embarrassment. This holiday season, though, I'm in a surprising position. I seem to be the FIRST to kick the Christmas tree to the curb.

Truth be told, if it had really been left up to me our tree would probably be shedding needles in our living room well into spring (when I would be last among my neighbors to break out the lawn mower).

But here's the thing: While I'm usually sitting around putting off chores, my wife is busy getting stuff done around the house.

When I came home from my radio newscasting gig Sunday afternoon, she was packing up the plastic bins we use to store our holiday ornaments, including my favorite - the Hallmark "Star Trek" shuttlecraft - the one with Spock's voice saying, "Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Spock here. Happy Holidays. Live long and prosper."

I'm not the only one who delights in it. I found this video on YouTube.

The sight of my wife hard at work was depressing. Not necessarily because she was putting Christmas away for the season, but because she was happily busy when all I wanted to do was kick back in my favorite chair, flip on the TV and watch a "Star Trek" episode I've only seen a billion times.

"Man, I'm tired," I whined as my wife turned her attention to unwinding the string lights from the tree, having finished putting away the ornaments.

"Go take a nap," my wife suggested. "I've got this."

I don't doubt my wife's sincerity. But remember when I said I don't do anything around the house unless I'm about to be shamed? I was uncomfortably close to being thoroughly chastened, so I took a deep breath, sucked it up and pitched in.

When we finished taking down the lights, it was time to haul the tree out to the curb. Before I started edging it toward the front door, though, I asked if there was any water left in the tree stand.

"I haven't watered it in days," my wife assured me.

A moment later, I was standing in our foyer in the middle of an expanding puddle of water and pine needles with the tree sticking halfway out the front door. I had decided, wrongly it turns out, that the easiest way to get our tree through the door and out of our house was to tip it over.

"I could be relaxing and watching TV right now," I silently told myself. My chair was calling to me as I mopped up the foyer.

But you know what? All that trouble was worth it. And I have my wife's industriousness to thank.

When I dumped our tree unceremoniously beside our mailbox, I looked around and realized it seemed to be the only one waiting to be picked up.

Game on, neighbors.


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