The big tree is back. The folks brought it home a few days ago and I was immediately suspicious but decided not to alarm anyone until I was sure that it was THE big tree. Yesterday they started dressing it up so I think it’s safe to say we should be on the alert for fireworks.
Like the last one, this tree doesn’t have a lot to say. I tried to chat it up a bit last night, after the folks went to bed, when I was sure it was THE tree. I wanted to get its take on this whole business. But either it can’t talk or wasn’t in the mood. Pretty much like all the other trees I’ve known. They look nice, and they’re a great place to find squirrels, but they don’t like to socialize. I just thought maybe this one would be different, considering all the trouble Mom and the Doc had gone through to get it here and put all the lights and ornaments on it. Oh, well.
It’s in a corner of the living room, so it’s not blocking the big window, which I appreciate, because I can still lie in my chair and enjoy the view of all the other trees outside. It’s hard for me to tell if it appreciates all the attention it’s getting. I mean it tolerates the lights and the ornaments but something about it makes me think it would rather be back in the forest or wherever it was before they brought it here. I mean, if I was a tree…OK, that’s ridiculous. I’m not a tree. I have no idea what trees think and as far as I can tell they’re not talking.
The important thing, and why I’m writing this, is the big tree is here and that means we can expect fireworks. Like I said in an earlier post, I’m not sure, exactly, when they are going to happen, but it will be soon. Those of you who’ve had trees move into your homes in the last week or so already know what I’m talking about. But for those readers who haven’t gotten the tree yet, or those, I recently discovered, who never get the big tree, this warning is for you.
Naturally, I assumed that if Mom and the Doc got the tree, everyone got the tree. So after my last piece about fireworks and the association with the tree I thought my job was done. In comes the tree and everyone knows what to expect. Nothing more to say. Wrong.
I found out about this only recently. The day after the folks brought the tree home we stopped by my friend Roxie’s place for a few minutes. She’s been around a while. Not as long as me, but long enough to know about the big tree and all that. When we got there I noticed she hadn’t gotten hers yet, and made a comment about it. She looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Apparently her folks never get the tree, and a lot of their friends, or at least a lot of the ones whose homes she’s been in, don’t get one either.
On the way home I asked the doc about it. His explanation involved a lot of strictly human concepts of no importance to us, but some of the key words were ‘cultural differences’, ‘tradition’, and ‘religion’. From what I could make of it different people have different cultural and religious beliefs, and only some of these beliefs involve getting the big tree at this particular time of year. Mom and the Doc are part of the group that believes in the tree, Roxie’s folks are not. That’s about all we need to know about it, though I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more.
I say that because of what I hear on the TV. I’ve mentioned a number of times I like to hang out with the Doc when he’s watching TV. Sports and cooking shows, mainly, but other stuff, too. Some of this other stuff involves ‘cultural differences’, and when it does the people on TV get pretty worked up. The Doc get’s worked up himself sometimes and starts yelling at the TV. I’m pretty sure the people on the TV can’t hear him but he yells anyway. It’s hilarious, but I pretend not to notice. Except if I’ve happened to doze off and he yells and wakes me up and I levitate. Then he usually stops talking to the TV and tries to calm me down. He never yells at the cooking show people, though sometimes he yells at the sports people. I don’t know why he watches things that make him crazy. I’ll try to find out and let you know.
Anyway, none of this is what I sat down to write about. It’s about fireworks and early warning systems. Even if your folks don’t get the tree there are ways for you to know what’s going on. For instance, if a pal of yours gets the tree. Or, if on one of your walks you pass a house that has a big tree in the window all dressed up. But, even better, is when you see the houses getting dressed up.
Most of the time the houses look the same, day in, day out. The plants in front might change, or there could be some painting going on, but basically the houses do what houses do. They sit there and look the same. But around the time the big tree starts showing up some of the houses change. They get lights put on them. Stuff shows up in the front yard, which also has lights on it. Even our house changes. There’s a really big tree in the front yard the folks put lights on. Well, not the folks, exactly, but a couple of people a lot younger than them who can climb the tree without worrying too much about falling out of it. The idea of the folks climbing the tree is even funnier than the Doc yelling at the TV.
The point is, even if your people are part of the group that doesn’t get the tree, there’s no good excuse for you to be taken completely by surprise. Just look around. When all the lights start showing up on houses and bushes, on outdoor trees and in front yards, you can bet that fireworks are coming soon. As for what to do about it, that’s entirely up to you.
I’ve heard that some of us sleep right through them. Others get annoyed and a little anxious, nothing some barking and running around the house or yard can’t fix. Then there are the hypersensitive and vigilant types, like me. I lose it when the noise starts. Shaking and drooling, good for nothing. Embarrassing, really, but I can’t help it. Mom bought this weird vest for me once, said it would keep me calm. And it did, at first. The next day she brought it out and put it on me again. I freaked out, even before the fireworks started, because I knew the vest meant they were imminent. So much for the vest. And so much for this post. You’ve been warned. Good luck. And Happy Holidays.