Killing Trees for Baby Jesus

This morning we took our annual pilgrimage to the Christmas tree farm, so we could pretend we were walking in the neatly planted rows of the forest. We just happened to see several trees that were suitable. The first, which I pointed out to the Megan, was thick with branches from the ground up. But it had one fatal flaw.

“Do you like this one, Megan?”

“No. There’s no room for presents underneath.”

Alrighty then. I hacked down another small tree with the farm-supplied saw and dragged it back to the shed where they bundle them up with plastic netting, just like the kind you find in the forest, and tossed it up on top of the X. We drove home, looking forward to tangled strings of lights and broken glass ornaments. This is, in fact, my favorite of all the holidays.

Not.

I despise Christmas. Loved it when I was a kid, mostly for the presents. Today I tolerate it and try to look happy about it. Mostly for the benefit of my little girls. In reality it’s a headache. Traffic is bad, gas is expensive, we always end up traveling somewhere for something, and too much money is spent on gifts that aren’t needed or appreciated. It’s stressful and I’d rather just have some quiet time and a nap. Bah. Humbug. The girls take the edge off. Smiling, giggling, laughing, tearing open wrapping paper to unveil some coveted treasure beneath. That part is priceless and worth every penny we didn’t have but spent anyway on the toys and candy canes.

Thanksgiving is nice. The traveling, which we almost always undertake, sucks, but it’s otherwise low key. Good food, family and friends, no expectations of materialism. I have a lot to be thankful for and more holidays should be like Thanksgiving.

The tree is lighted. When the girls wake from their naps we’ll photograph the Megan placing the star on top and commence to decorating. The title of this entry is “Killing Trees for Baby Jesus”. I didn’t really go anywhere with it, but the words have been stuck in my head for a couple days. Today they morphed into “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, ‘long as I have my plastic Jesus….”

I leave you with this. (And the chords, so jam on.) Have a Holly Jolly.

“Plastic Jesus” by George Cromarty and Ed Rush

I don't care if it rains or freezes
'Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through my trials and tribulations
And my travels through the nations
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far

/ D - / G - / D - A - / 1st, 2nd / D A D - /

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   I'm afraid He'll have to go
   His magnets ruin my radio
   And if I have a wreck He'll leave a scar

   / D - - - / - - A - / D - / G - / D A D - /

Riding down a thoroughfare
With His nose up in the air
A wreck may be ahead, but He don't mind
Trouble coming He don't see
He just keeps His eye on me
And any other thing that lies behind

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   Though the sunshine on His back
   Make Him peel, chip and crack
   A little patching keeps Him up to par

When I'm in a traffic jam
He don't care if I say "damn"
I can let all my curses roll
Plastic Jesus doesn't hear
'Cause he has a plastic ear
The man who invented plastic saved my soul

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   Once His robe was snowy white
   Now it isn't quite so bright
   Stained by the smoke of my cigar

If I weave around at night
And policemen think I'm tight
They never find my bottle, though they ask
Plastic Jesus shelters me
For His head comes off, you see
He's hollow, and I use Him for a flask

   Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
   Riding on the dashboard of my car
   Ride with me and have a dram
   Of the blood of the Lamb
   Plastic Jesus is a holy bar

5 responses to “Killing Trees for Baby Jesus

  1. Where in the Bible do you read that Jesus implies, let alone commands, anyone to cut down a tree in His name? Where did He command that His birth be celebrated in the first place, let alone with crass materialism? Real Christians have not turned the birth of the Savior into an orgy of materialism.

    I have always struggled with the materialism of Christmas, and so our children would usually get a pair of socks, a book, and some candy at Christmas time. They are all now grown up and have moved out of the house, so they don’t get anything anymore. Our grand children have never gotten any presents from us at Christmas, except a visit. It is possible to celebrate Christmas in a very low key manner, focusing on the true Spirit of Christmas.

    We bought a plastic Christmas tree which many years (a couple of decades maybe) later we continue to reuse. We lightly decorate the tree and put up one small display of lights in the living room, and I usually buy my wife a bottle of perfume for Christmas. And we listen to the beautiful Christmas music that was written generations ago, especially Handel’s Messiah. Has there ever been a more inspiring piece of music written?

    Christmas doesn’t have to be the shameful affair that it has turned into. Your voluntary participation can’t be blamed on Jesus.

    Harry

  2. Hi, Harry. Thanks for stopping by. I think you may have missed my point, or more likely, I failed miserably at getting it across. “Killing trees for baby Jesus” is a jab at the materialism that surrounds Christmas. It would be silly for me to blame Jesus for that, wouldn’t it?

  3. Scott, maybe you should have instead focussed on having turkey or ham for Christmas dinner and called it “Killing Birds and Piggies for Baby Jesus”. I’m pretty sure this was mentioned somewhere in St. Paul’s Letters to the Vegetarians.

  4. Where, oh where did I go wrong!
    Plastic Jesus? I think not!

  5. If Jesus were as loving as they say he is, would the bible advocate slavery, slaughter, killing of those who work on the sabbath day, killing of people that wish to spend their lives with someone they love even though they have the same genitals as them? Would his birthday concern killing an innocent part of nature? I think not.

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