To Tree or Not to Tree
To tree, or not to tree, that is the question
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of hearing Bah Humbug!
Or to take arms against a sea of tangled lights
And by untangling, hang them, string them forthwith,
Taking care to replace any bogus bulbs
For if we don’t, none of them shall light up —
Which would be our undoing: ’tis a shame.
Devoutly to be wish’d for better engineering
Of said shoddy merchandise — ay, there’s the rub:
For in that haranging with the bulbs, we deflate
When we most need our energy for shopping,
Which gives us pause — there’s the dilemma
That makes Christmas time so f*ing crazy.
For who would bear the blame of going treeless?
The kids would cry and make us miserable
And claim we don’t love them, such is their way
The insolence of innocence, the little twits
Who have no idea of the cost, the time…
When they themselves expect Santa’s magic
With no clue how this all really happens.
How we grunt and sweat erecting the damned
Tree and painstakingly arrange its branches
Let alone get the ornaments down from
The top shelf of dusty attic or garage
Let alone hang them all without six breaking.
Prithee, who has the time to do all this plus bake?
This pressure to perform makes cowards of us all,
And thus the tempting hue of resolution
Is suckled o’er with the very delicious thought
That our time is better served by shopping.
We’ll put the presents under the television
and hopefully no one will even notice.
Marilyn Flower writes political humor and satire to delight socially and spiritually conscious folks. She’s a regular columnist for the prison newsletter, Freedom Anywhere, where she writes about faith and prayer. Five of her short plays have been produced in San Francisco. Clowning and improvisation strengthen her resolve during these crazy times.