Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

As I decorate our home for the holidays I am reminded of Christmases of the past. One year we were feeling the pinch of an economic downturn and salaries that weren't anywhere near the top of any ladder... not even a step stool! Christmas was coming and we decided to save some money by chopping down our own Christmas tree.

A friend of ours was a timber cruiser for a large paper company that had many acres in pulp wood forests in our area. There were parts of the property where the trees had been harvested and the torn up land lay fallow, waiting to be prepared for planting a new crop of trees. There were quite a few small trees that weren't worth harvesting for pulp wood that escaped the ravages of the large equipment. Our friend knew where to take us to find a suitable Christmas tree. After surveying the trees and weighing the options we picked a tree, cut it and dragged it to the truck. We brought it home and set it up in the corner of the living room and planned to decorate it the next day.

Imagine our surprise horror when we walked into the living room the next morning. Our tree had been a haven to dozens hundreds of hibernating stink bugs. Bugs that were basically in comas, waiting for a warm day to bring them some energy. That warm day had come.... in our living room! We had big stink bugs and little stink bugs. We had brown stink bugs and green stink bugs. We had stink bugs walking happily across the ceiling. We had stink bugs scaling the walls. We had stink bugs wading through the jungle of carpet. In response to my screams (well, OK, maybe I didn't scream... I know that eventually I started to laugh...hysterically!) hubby went and got the shop vac. Do you know why stink bugs acquired that name? When they are disturbed they give off an offensive smelling liquid to deter predators. As the vacuum sucked up the victims, they emitted their foul smelling liquid and the odor quickly permeated the house. It was enough to make a person gag!

Over the ensuing weeks the odor diminished and was replaced with the sweet smells of Christmas; the pine scent of the tree, gingerbread cookies and a roast beef sizzling in the oven. Our home grown tree looked stunning bedecked with colored glass ornaments and lights, some tinsel and....the occasional confused stink bug!


  1. Oh my! You have had quite the number of experiences in your life! It's good that you can laugh about it, though :)

  2. AH! I get shivers just thinking of those little guys infesting the house!! I'm glad that the tree ended up being perfect- I probably would have thrown it out of the house and burned it! :) haha, how terrible! So how is the tree THIS year?!

  3. Nice bug! lol - our tree smells great too! Need to post some pics of that!


  4. Good Post! Nice bug...the ribbon is perfect!


  5. Oh, I hate the smell of stink bugs. Just one is enough to make me gag, I can't imagine a whole house full. YUCK!!!!

  6. Now that's a Christmas to remember!

  7. OMG! I just read your story to my husband. Too funny.

    Cindy Bee

  8. Now that tree is one to remember! Great story! :)

  9. Oh this is a riot! I love the end of your post, the smell of the tree, the gingerbread, and oh yeah, the occasional stink bug! hehe :)


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