My cafe acquaintance K.C. told me that he and his family went into the woods near Cuba, NM the day after Thanks Giving and cut down a Christmas tree for the holiday. (It is their family tradition.)
I said, “Murderer!!!”
He agreed. He added that they used the powers of human rationalization to justify the act—they thinned the woods where the woods were too thick with pines.
K.C. noted the fact that people do not slaughter goats or cows and hang their festively decorated carcasses up for several weeks near the end of the year to confirm a second time that cutting down Christmas Trees is murder of a living thing.
So. Where did the Christmas tree tradition start? According to History.com’s article (Click Here) it started before the Christians. Damn. I wanted to point a finger at the early Christians and use my best Hercule Poirot voice and announce the murderer to the readership, but … it is not to be.
In many of the world’s pre-Christian cultures plants and trees that remained green all year where believed to have special powers. A popular practice was to was to hang evergreen boughs over windows and doorways to prevent witches, ghosts, illness and evil spirits from entering the house. In New Mexico we paint the door trim and window trim turquoise to enact the same effect. Maybe I can go to my neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a seven foot tall four-by-four, paint it turquoise, start a new holiday tradition. It will put a lot of Christmas tree farmers out of business and save a lot of evergreens. I’ll ignore the toxicity of the turquoise paint in this entry.
If evergreen trees are such strong proof against witches, evil spirits, ghosts and illness, why not plant plenty of them in your community instead of cutting them down? What about the rest of the year? Why is a dead (or dying) pine bough considered stronger than a living tree? Oh, the ill logic of it irks me.
I am sure that back in the pre-Christian days there were so many pine and spruce trees in the world that no one thought this growing tradition would dent their numbers. That was back in the days when most of the world was wilderness and human activity did not have much of an effect on the planet. Back when medicine had little to no effect in sustaining human populations.
The National Christmas Tree Association estimates 25-30 million trees will be cut and sold this year in the United States. With climate change and excess carbon affecting the earth we need those trees to convert airborne carbon into tree trucks.
Humans place so much excess carbon in the air that trees are stuffing themselves with carbon and growing very fast. I see this excess carbon like stuffing entire cheeseburgers in your mouth with one shove. At some point you choke and die. We should start National Excess Carbon Day where each person on the planet has to stuff their mouth with an entire cheeseburger to show solidarity with the trees being stuffed with excess carbon.
Wait. Okay. I see this blog entry suffered from some intellectual drift. I once thought I was the King of Tangents, but experience has taught me I am little better than a Pawn of Tangents, sliding sideways across humanity’s intellectual chess board on square at a time. Still let us not cut down trees at such high rates and not choke to death on excess carbon (cheeseburgers).
Love & Light.