It’s a Christmas tradition as old as Saint Nick

Gather the children, bundle them thick

Everyone in the car with a rather swift kick

It is time for the ceremonial Christmas tree pick.

I have a niggling feeling, but I do not dwell

Despite early signs my plan’s going to hell

Smile for the camera, by the next darn clock bell

We will look like a portrait of Norman Rockwell.

I plaster a smile as Punch starts to bicker

Whiny is coughing, now he’s feeling sicker

Cranky is beaming, new hope starts to flicker

Then I see it’s a text, did those people bring liquor?

Straighten up now, gosh darn it, have fun I insist

Smell the pine, sip hot cocoa, iPhone urges resist,

If you’ll just not make waves, perhaps even assist

I can cross this darn trip off my Christmas blacklist.

“Punch pulled my hair, and then poked at my eyeball!”

Cranky fake-cries with a drama-queen pratfall

The dog’s off the leash and Whiny is AWOL

And I’m Chicken Little awaiting the sky fall.

Just pick out a tree, to love it is learnable

Spinning them round though no difference discernable

Assessing each one using language that’s questionable

In front of young families with children impressionable.

Finally I just choose one, a kindly dictator

Get the thing on the car before the hour gets later

We look cheery and buoyant to any spectator

At least that’s my impression and I’m the narrator.

So it’s done we got through it, it wasn’t all loathsome

The tree on the car roof, the family so handsome

We laugh as the dog hops in, sticky with balsam

Family Christmas tree shopping, it’s rather quite wholesome.

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