Thursday, December 18, 2008
We're headed out to get our tree sometime today. We like to purchase our tree from felons who are trying to stay out of jail. They run just about all of the Christmas tree lots around here, so even if we wanted to get a tree from a non-felon, I think we'd be out of luck. Ironically, next to every Christmas tree lot is a medical marijuana ....parlor. When Christmas is but a happy memory, those who are smoking theirs away will still be with us.
It has come to my recent attention that there is a medical marijuana facility at just about the same distance in any direction I might walk. That would be about four blocks. At first I had no idea that these places with lots of tropical plants and American flags out front were joint joints. I found out because I asked the man at the Seven Eleven on the corner what the deal was with that flag place and when I expressed my surprise at his answer he listed all the other locations. That took some time.
The newest one leaves no one guessing. There is a young lady standing outside yelling, "Medical Marijuana!" and pointing up the stairs. At least she has a job. As jobs get harder to find, medical marijuana becomes ever more easily located.
But we were talking about Christmas trees:
Sister, Here is a question for you on another topic: when is a good time to put up a Christmas tree? I know there is no dogma of the Church about this, but maybe you have some advice. Here's my take:
1. The day after Thanksgiving! This is just too soon, and falls into the whole "Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends at noon on Christmas Day" secular mindset.
2. Dec. 17. It's when Advent becomes "more serious." The second Advent preface is used at Mass and there is a proper for each date. This is also about the time when the Vatican's Christmas tree goes up.
3. Dec. 24. Isn't this the best time?! After all, it's a Christmas tree . . . not an Advent tree. But all the trees are picked over by then . . . and no one really seems to do this anymore.
We always put ours up one week before Christmas and take it down on New Year's Day so the house doesn't go up in flames from the impossibly dried out tree. As I have mentioned, I love Christmas and just don't think you can go overboard. Our tree is lit up like an incoming UFO, due in no small part to our collection of bubble lights. Oh, how I love them.
You can put your tree up whenever you like. It's up to you how long you want to stare at it. Maybe you have an artificial tree and you can leave it up until Lent if you want. Our house would burn down.
I've often wondered how in the world I would get Sister Mary Fiacre out of here in the middle of the night if the place went up. There would be no time for the wheel chair and I would have to try and drag her. You see people do that in movies all the time, dragging some knocked out person through a hallway and out the door. It's really not that easy. The person may as well be Gandhi, only a hundred pounds heavier from living in America, all dead weight and unmoving. It's just about impossible. That's why Gandhi did it, just went all limp and "I dare you to drag me!"
What were we talking about? Oh yes, the tree.
I don't know why you wouldn't just go along with the Vatican on this one any how. We're Catholic, surely we're all used to going along with the Vatican on things by now.
Anyhow, it takes me about a week to get the tree all lined up once it's up. The lights alone are a whole evening's work. By day three, I'm finally on the beads. I think this is a hold over from when I was a child and my Christmas crazed family put a sheet up over the living room door for a whole week before Christmas because Santa was in there working. (Not every second, but you had to cover the whole thing up so he could come and go as needed.) On Christmas day it really looked like Santa had been working in there all week.
After midnight Mass on Christmas Eve/morning we light 'er up and wait for a call from NASA about what just landed at our house.
I'll bet plenty of people still do the Christmas Eve tree. I'll bet those same people leave the tree up all through the Epiphany because they can do it with less fear of burning down the house.