Should you go real or artificial with your Christmas tree? That depends on how much you like vacuuming up pine needles for months after the holiday.

Your Christmas questions answered!

Real or artificial tree? That depends: how much do you like dried pine needles getting everywhere?

It’s Christmas time, and I know you have lots of queries; so let’s get right to them!

I haven’t yet put up any Christmas lights; is it too late? It’s never too late to put up Christmas lights (unless it’s January, in which case better luck next year). However, there’s a reason why many people put them up in November.

Why is that? Because frostbite still, at least until climate change really starts kicking in.

Are there any hot new trends in Christmas lights? Yes indeed! Christmas light projectors are the “in” thing this year, projecting a moving display of lights across the front of your house.

Do you recommend them? To each his or her own. I will just remind you that icicle lights were the “in” thing a few years ago, and how many icicle lights do you see these days?

Good point. Do you think I’m safe to keeping using the strings of lights I bought back when Canadian Tire’s “Give like Santa, save like Scrooge” ads were new? That depends; is your house insurance fully paid up in case of fire? Also, good luck finding bulbs in this brave new LED world. And if you still own strings of lights that fail when one of the bulbs goes out, I’m happy to be the first to inform you that the 21st century has arrived; I’m glad you awoke from your coma.

Okay, Christmas trees: real or artificial? There are arguments to be made for and against both. Speaking personally, however, the day someone hears me say “You know, I think this is the year we get an artificial tree” will know that we are living in the world of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the pod people have taken me over.

But real trees are so messy! Yes, they are. However, the tree stand is a handy supplemental water bowl if you have pets; plus real trees help keep the Christmas spirit alive all the year round, as you will be finding desiccated pine needles in unlikely spots for months afterward.

Should I cut my own tree or buy one? That depends on your tolerance level for hiking around in the snowy bush, rejecting tree after tree until—because you can no longer feel your feet—you finally compromise on something that makes Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree look lush by comparison, and then find it still won’t fit in the back of your vehicle. Either way, you will be picking desiccated pine needles out of your car for some time.

I know a turkey dinner is traditional on Christmas Day; but turkey can be so bland. Any suggestions to make Christmas dinner more interesting? Well, in the wake of the U.S. election last month, I suspect that a lot of Christmas dinners will be “interesting” in 2016, as many people gather together for the first time in a year and realize that the political views of extended family members are radically different to their own.

That’s not really what I was looking for. May I suggest deep-frying your turkey? I understand that deep-fried turkey is delicious, which will solve the blandness issue. The deep-frying process can also—according to fire departments and hospitals—be very interesting indeed (just a reminder: is your house insurance paid up?).

And that’s all we have time for! May your Christmas be merry and bright; and no, I’m not referring to the fire department showing up… .

 

 

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