Was it glamorous or just mediocre?
Our family spent the evening at the traditional burning of the Christmas trees and weenie feast on the farm.
This is an event with low expectations and lots of “ooooh” power, never failing to amaze all the guests.
There was a buffet with drinks, deserts and hot dogs as the main course, under strings of Christmas lights taken off the discarded trees.
We dressed our dogs in the finest condiments: mustard, ketchup, chili, slaw, melted cheese, jalapeno peppers, relish and anything else that should go on a chip or cracker.
Christmas trees were gathered a day or two before the event from abandoned tree lots and neighborhood sidewalks before the garbage truck arrived days later.
This year, 115 trees waited to burn in an area the size of a king size bed.
Everything, including the folding chairs sat at least 30 feet from the center of the bonfire area.
NO one wants her eyebrows singed.
Spectators endured massive heat when trees ignited to full blaze in less than 10 seconds.
Steam walls rose with hissing sounds in trees that had been adequately soaked, but they blazed in seconds behind the dry ones.
I believe at peak pile time, the fire could be seen by the space station.
To add a little variety, pallets from wrapped air conditioner units saved for a year, made a difference in the heat and smell that permeated the air.
A long garden hose was on hand and firefighter Joanne sprayed the ignited ground cover.
The casualty of burning trees resulted in falling ash over cars, jackets and on my food.
The lesson here was to eat upwind.
This year’s event began at 6 pm and lasted almost until 11.
When the temperature dropped to below 40 degrees in the circle, more trees were tossed on the pile.
We chatted, listened to mostly country music or ate again from the buffet. There was always something to climb or explore, like piles of gravel, storage bins, and the back of someone’s truck, or try to slide down a curved metal building without peril.
Gratefully, there was no monumental damage.
The kids found additional entertainment riding a golf cart in the dark with a handheld spotlight, and tossing hands full of ice in snowball fashion.
Several bystanders seeking revenge punished the initiator.
When the trees dwindled and our appetites waned, the crowd dispersed to make it home to watch the Times Square ball fall at midnight and clink wine glasses filled with sparkling white grape juice.
The evening may have been unlike your New Year’s Eve, but on the farm, it was about having some good clean fun.
I hope your New Year celebration was spectacular. Maybe next year you will be invited to share it with me. Let me know. I'd love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you have a wonderful year!