This year I had the first real Christmas tree I’ve ever had. Living with my parents we always used fake trees and that’s what I grew up with.

Tammy’s family was the opposite though, and so I decided to try out a real tree for once for our first married Christmas.

It’s not so bad. You have to keep it watered and it turns into a painful cactus-like plant somewhere around New Year’s, but it smells nice and looks just like a fake tree…

Last night was trash day so I put it out on the curb for a pick up today. In its wake were thousands of little pine needles all over our carpet. That’s where the fireworks began.

Last night I experienced the most fun I’ve ever had using a vacuum cleaner.

“SHHHHHHLITIKIKIKLITIKITIKITK!” went the needles as they jumped through the rollers of my vacuum, danced through the hose and into the bag. “SHLOOOOOOORP! SCHLISHHHHHHKIKIKIIK!” went the needles as I sucked them out of the corners of the carpet with the crevice tool. I swear it was awesome.

Pretty soon the vacuum started smelling like burnt pine tree, but no flames or smoke were ever seen, so I kept on going until the job was done. When it was all gone I had a profound sense of satisfaction.

It’s one thing to vacuum a rug that looks mostly clean. But vacuuming up a pile of millions of little things as you hear and feel them get sucked away to their final resting place inside a vacuum bag is something everyone should try sometime.

I would like to take a vacuum cleaner to the beach one day. I’d go through bags pretty fast with all that sand, but I bet it would be a lot of fun. Then if anyone asks why I’m vacuuming sand I could say something like “This beach isn’t gonna clean itself!”

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