Monday, December 12, 2011

SUPERXmas, Day 15: The State Holiday... er... Christmas... er... WHATEVER tree.

If you're the type of person who doesn't like all these words, you can always page down to find three videos, each about 10 seconds or less in length, that will fulfill your SUPERXmas!/ADHD needs.

For the rest of us/you/me, yesterday, I and Mr Bunches and Mr F did our usual Sunday morning routine, which was to go to the office for a while and do a little busywork before heading out for a day of fun, adventure, not having the patience to wait for a choir to perform, and eventually going to get milk.

Or, SUPERXmas!, for short.

My office is directly across the street from the State Capitol, which has been the scene of lots of controversy this year; it was relatively recently that they took the armed guards out of the building and started letting people enter without being almost strip-searched, and even that didn't reduce the tensions after our idiot governor decided to call it a "Christmas Tree" instead of a "Holiday Tree," that annual debate being the single-most-important thing that most people can think of, and if you ask me, people who worry about what the stupid tree is called are missing... well, a lot of things, but the point is one of the things they're missing.

Those people who shouted down a childrens' choir in Rhode Island, for example: What was it, exactly, that they were standing up for?

The "right" to call a tree a "Christmas tree?" That's a funny thing to stand up for, considering that evergreen trees are used in pagan rituals, too.

The "right" to have Christmas placed front-and-center in December? That's a weird thing to demand, too, given that "Christmas" celebrates Jesus' birth anywhere from four months too late to six months too late -- most people in the know have determined that Jesus was born sometime between June 17 and August 22.

So you Rhode Islanders, and others who protest what a tree is called, were standing up for the right to celebrate a pagan symbol that was adopted ("plagiarized") centuries later by your religion, and is now used to celebrate the day the government says we should rather than the real day.

Just thought you'd want to know.

I'd originally anticipated that our visit to the Whatever Tree would be brief -- it's a tree, you go look at it, and move on, kind of like when you go visit someone's newborn baby-- but I hadn't counted on the hypnotic, mystical effect the Whatever Tree would have on the boys.

As soon as we got to the Capitol, they ran forward to the rotunda where the giant tree is located, and Mr Bunches immediately noted the train that was running beneath it, and they both stared up at the Whatever Tree, and then sat down to just sit and look at it.

So, I sat with them for a few minutes. Why not? When was the last time you just sat and looked at a big public Whatever Tree?

After we sat there for a few minutes -- with Mr Bunches naming the parts of the train (Engine, coal car, box car, water car, caboose!) -- we decided to get some alternate looks at the Whatever Tree, so we went up to the second level of the Capitol, where Mr Bunches looked through the bars to see the Tree and the Train,

while Mr F hung back with me because Mr F is now afraid of heights and might be more afraid of them than I am.

Then it was up to the Third level, for an even-higher-up glimpse at the Whatever Tree, before we headed back down to the ground level, where Mr Bunches wanted to sit and watch the train for a while.

As he did that, I looked more closely at the children-made ornaments on the Whatever Tree, finding ones that celebrated:

Gingerbread Santa: At first, I thought it was African-American Santa, but there were other Gingerbread Men on the Tree:

And Christmas Royal Buckingham Palace Guard

Who might instead be Christmas Russian Hat Wearing Dancer, for all I know, and then I found my favorite Christmas Ornament of all,

Christmas Chopper Attack:

Yep. That's a Patriotic Helicopter Bombing a U.S. Tank on a Christmas Ornament. The country of origin of the Chopper is unknown, so I hope that's not Christmas Friendly Fire. But is Christmas Taliban Resistance really any better? That's for future generations to decide.

And here are the promised videos:

First up: Mr F says tree! That may not seem like much, but it really is phenomenal:

Then, in case you wondered what Santa says, Mr F and Mr Bunches can fill you in:

PS: Later that night, I sent this picture to the older kids, Oldest, Middle, and The Boy:

I said "this is what we did today," and Oldest immediately called me up and said "That's not how I thought you were going to decorate the tree!"

I said: "That's not our tree. It's the holiday tree at the Capitol."

Oldest said: "Oh. I thought it was your tree."

To which I said: "It's forty feet tall. What did you think we did?"

She had no answer.

Prior Days:

One: Putting up the yard decorations

Two: Making a Christmas list

Three: Sleep, Actually

Four: How to make popsicle stick (SUPER)Xmas trees, in 437 easy steps.

5 & 6: It's a SUPERXmas! Miracle.

Day 7:
Santa, Babies.

Day 8: When Christmas was corykilverty

Day 9: Mr Bunches covers Katy Perry

Day 10: I'm sorry about that homemade gift I gave you.

Day 11: Here are some pictures of some things.

12 & 13: The year without a Bad Santa, and my office Xmas party.

Day 14: A pizza coupon at the start, a Candy Cane Blizzard at the end (PHOTO ESSAY!)


Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

Wow, your house must be pretty swanky if they're confusing it for the state Capitol.

I don't care what they call the tree; I just feel sad that every year these big, ancient trees have to be cut down to fuel Man's vanity. I'm sure there'd be an even bigger uproar over suggesting they use artificial ones, but it's just another symbol of the wastefulness of our society that we'll cut down a tree that's 200 years old so we can decorate and gawk at it for 30-40 days before turning it into wood chips.

Briane P said...

Yes, our house is frequently mistaken for the Capitol. It's understandable. The Capitol has three branches of government and a large rotunda made of marble. Our house has a broken-down piano in the living room and one zillion Hot Wheels. Easy mistake to make. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin sometimes ends up sitting on our couch and debating cases, which would be fascinating except that Abrahamson never uses a coaster.

Andrew Leon said...

San Francisco puts up a huge tree in Union Square every year. Last year's tree was 80' tall. They had a little plaque or something to tell all about where it was cut from and all of that. So, you know, we could appreciate all the trouble and expense they went to to provide us such an extravagent tree.
On the other hand, Macy's, which is on Union Square, had a 90' tree inside their building. They do us a fake tree, at this point, though.