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Time to get rid of your Christmas tree

Posted on Jan 12, 2017 by: Scott West

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"Bah, humbug!" says the grumpy insurance company. "Remove that tree from your living room!"

Many of us put a lot of effort into decorating for Christmas, especially when it comes to the evergreen tree we temporarily plant in our living rooms. We travel to our favorite nursery, spend half an hour out in the cold picking a tree with just the right height and shape, shell over some money to the folks at the register, and then strap the tree to the top of our vehicles and drive home.

After bringing down the custom stand from the attic, inserting and adjusting the tree until it stands just right, pouring water into the base, and decorating with lights, ornaments, and tinsel, you’ve set the stage for the holidays. That the tree represents your time, energy, and creativity. Because of this, some of us tend to procrastinate around this time of year, not wanting to end the holidays by undecorating and throwing that tree away.

That’s where one insurance company decided to play the Grinch. This insurance company gathered a film crew and a local fire department and proceeded to ignite a Christmas tree in a vacant home (which seems like a waste of a house). They wanted to demonstrate just how deadly that reminder of Christmas past can be. Within seconds, toxic fumes enveloped the house, and in less than a minute the room with the tree was charred to a crisp. Since the average response time for fire departments ranges between four and five minutes, that could be a pretty devastating scenario for the typical homeowner.

Because I am a "doubting Thomas" and have some property in the country, I placed my tree on a burn pile and set a match to it (just the tree, no ornaments!). As the Grinch showed us, the tree went up in a whoosh of flames, setting the rest of the debris on fire. I couldn’t have gotten a more explosive fire if I had poured gasoline on it.

So for those who love their Christmas presents and the joy of the season: It’s time to relieve your tree of its obligations and get it back to nature!