While the dregs of society battle over whether childless adults should or should not own giant dead trees and decorate them with baubles in an attempt to recapture their childhoods or brighten up their dreary, snark-filled journalist lives, we beseech you to consider alternatives.
Consider, if you will, the menorah. A true holiday decoration for the proletariat.
• Menorahs come in all shapes and sizes. No worrying about whether your menorah will fit inside your tiny overpriced Bushwick apartment. No concerns about having to shlep it up five flights of stairs in your pre-war walkup tenement. No need to move heaven and earth (or, more precisely, your combination bed/livingroom couch/kitchen table) to find space for it.
• Menorahs are affordable. No need to hassle with the bearded guy on the street corner who smells like Steel Reserve. Just hit up Amazon and boom boom boom. The cheapest menorahs are on sale for ten bucks, and candles are another five bucks. Of course, you can also go the DIY route; it might end up being much more festive.
• Menorahs give off warmth! No, not that useless "spiritual warmth." Can spiritual warmth keep you warm when your landlord fails to keep the heat on at night? Can spiritual warmth help cook your cocktail hot dogs so you can have dinner? Can spiritual warmth light your Parliament Lights? No, it cannot. But a candle-lit menorah can. Can it can also burn your home to rubble? Yes, but a Christmas tree can too, and if you are afraid of fire, there are electric menorahs just for you.
• Menorahs can be pretty. Granted, here is where the Christmas tree wins. A lovely, large, festive thing decorated in whatever way tickles your fancy - from your classic ornaments to your tiny TARDISes. Fair enough. But the menorah is no slouch in this department, either. No, because of its size and shape, the menorah can be made in many ways. It can be pop art. It can be classic. It can be dazzlingly ornamental. It can be clean and modern. It can be steampunk. It can be made from copper, or brass, or stainless steel, or recycled guitar parts, or (again, if you are crafty) empty beer bottles.
So this year, set your tree fetish aside. Open your eyes to something new, something different, something that says, "I will not be forced into choosing between a large, smelly plant and nothing at all." No, this year, look to the Chosen People for inspiration. All we ask is that when Hanukkah comes, you will be sure to make some latkes and invite us over so we can—wait, WHAT? When??!?!?? Aw hell.
[Image by DennyCrane, who is not nearly as religious as this piece might imply.]