Escapist Editor in Chief Battles Christmas Tree


Procuring a Christmas tree often signals the beginning of the holidays; conjuring memories of firelit chimneys, softly playing carols and the tactical precision in which one decorates their tree. For Russ Pitts, it means war.

Despite having already lost the war against wayward pine needles the year before, Russ gritted his teeth and changed his game plan. A few days before Christmas, he waded through a meagre display of remaining trees and chose his combatant. With vigilance he set up the tree, decorating it with fuzzy sheep and other decorations, determined to enjoy the tree for the few days he owned it, and then promptly dispose of it afterwards. Little did he know that the tree had training in biochemical warfare:

At around 11:00 a.m. I awoke to the startling sensation of being unable to breathe. My throat had closed up, my eyes were on fire, my chest was full of sputum and my nose had turned into a faucet. Something was clearly amiss. My experience with allergies told me that I was having a reaction to something. Common sense told me that it was the tree.

Clever move, tree. There are plenty of stories about the holidays involving triumph, elation, and love. Here’s a story for the Scrooge in all of us. Read “The Year My Tree Tried To Kill Me,” and share your own stories of holiday battles with us.


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