What did we ever do to you?
FROM A CHRISTMAS TREE’S POINT OF VIEW
Originally written by Douglas Fir
and retold by Jeffrey Pine
ou drag me into the house by my foot, then prop me up because I can no longer stand on my own. So you make a brace (some even have bolts that you screw into my skin) and stand me up in the corner like a trophy (or is it to mock me?). You’ll cut off parts of my body so that I look just like you want me to look. Then you’ll fill my arms (or what’s left of them) to the breaking point with bulbs and strands of garland and strings of lights and popcorn and old family heirlooms that have been handed down for generations and the ‘cute’ little things that the kids have made in 1st and 3rd grade and all those other gaudy ornaments that you don’t even know where they came from, after which you’ll toss little shiny strings of tinsel all over me.
Then, in a ‘crowning’ moment, you’ll place an angel or a star on top of my head (nice touch!).
And after all of this is done, you might say, “Isn’t that a beautiful tree?”
Give me a break! You won’t even see the real me! I’ll have so much makeup on I’ll look like a botanical prostitute!
It wasn’t bad enough that you had to go out and chop me down to begin with (I was only twelve years old); now you have to shame me in my death throes as well?
I’m still alive (barely), but I only have about two weeks left, depending on how much water you decide to give me, if any. And for those two weeks you’ll make it seem like I’m the center of attention, until one certain morning you decide I’m no longer worthy of your ‘praise’ (probably because I’m officially dead now), so you strip me of all those pretty baubles and throw me out back with the dog. You’ll forget about me and I’ll sit there for a month while I stiffen up and parts of me fall off as my bodily fluid slowly evaporates.
But then one day you’ll remember me and burn me with your garbage. Or maybe you’ll take me out to the sidewalk to be picked up with your trash and taken to the dump where I’ll be thrown into a wood chipper that will chew me up into tiny little pieces.
Or maybe you’ll take me out to the woods where you found me and throw me out of the back of your truck beside some lonely dirt road.
With my crucifixion complete, you’ll go back to your happy lives while my miserable corpse lies out in the open and slowly decomposes to time and the elements (rotting and decaying can be so much fun).
And then in about another eleven months, you’ll repeat this same process, probably coming out to the same spot where you got me and left me. Perhaps you’ll take my brother or sister (“Oh, look honey. That one’s perfect. Let’s kill it!”) and subject them to those same festive practices you inflicted on me.
What did we ever do to you?
(The statements above do not necessarily represent the religious or environmental opinion or views of the of the author, whoever I am.)