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The Wide Angle: The annual Christmas wrestling match

The Christmas tree, the annual tradition of being manhandled by an already cut-down tree as you try to wrestle it through a door.

The Christmas tree is a long-held tradition that maybe goes back a lot further than you would think.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

“The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the Devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime. It survived further in the custom, also observed in Germany, of placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house during the midwinter holidays.”

It’s nice to know that I have something in common with ancient Egyptians as I imagine the pharaoh, laying on his stomach at the base of a tree stand, repeatedly asking, “Is it straight? Is it straight?! I can’t see it from here.” Only to step back after five minutes of getting all four screw supports situated on the base of the tree and noticing that it was indeed crooked. “What if we turn it to the wall?”

We got our annual tree the other day, a fat and short little fir we sat in the dining room corner.

I have a long-standing tradition of not going fake because I enjoy a mess. It’s not what my parents have ever done and it’s not what I’m about to do. Christmas has a large base resting on tradition and this is one tradition I intend on having for quite some time.

It’s also an annual tradition many are familiar with. The Christmas tree is always a nice addition to the house, leaving the abode smelling nicely of pine forest.

I enjoy walking into the house and seeing it lit in the corner, adding a certain warmth to the house, but it’s not like it’s an easy process.

Our tree is fatter than normal and kind of dense to grapple with. Getting it through the door was more challenging than previous years. It filled the door as I did everything I could to avoid either stepping in or tipping over the kitty litter just inside the door I foolishly forgot to move, upping the degree of difficulty.

As I suplexed the tree through the doors, I moved it through the kitchen like a mutated Weeble Wobble, awkwardly stumbling to where the tree stand and the two judging faces of Buster and Nemi waited. They watched with a level of bother on their faces, but not without a sense of opportunity as well that many with cats will understand.

Is this a new scratching post? Can I climb it? Can I drink water out of it? How quickly can Eric get to the kitchen should I decide to climb the tree?

All relevant questions in the cat world.

There was an added complication to this year’s tree as well as snow from this last storm was still clinging to the branches and turned the floor into a watery mess, soaking into socks as I attempted to make sure it was straight while fending off cats doing recon.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to put anything on the tree yet because of just not having the time, so currently it just sits there like we’ve started hoarding a collection of cut down fir trees.

But again, I’m happy with having this tradition. It connects me to home and the past that was always marked by bringing in a new Christmas tree — and stepping on that first dried pine needle with bare feet.