Remember that scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when the squirrel jumps out of the Griswold's Christmas tree? I am constantly on edge about this happening in my house, only instead of a squirrel jumping out of the tree onto Jon, our squirrel (or other woodland creature) is going to fall out of the tree dead and gross and contaminate all the presents underneath. Keep that visual as you finish the tale of why we have the funkiest Christmas tree in the neighborhood.

This is the first time in about five years we have had a real tree. It's a beauty, too. We found a big, full Douglas Fir that smelled just like the perfect Christmas. About a week after we got it decorated it began to dry out a bit. It still looks gorgeous, but it is shedding needles at an alarming rate, and I am pretty sure by Christmas Eve it will look more like Charlie Brown's tree than the perfect, full tree it was when we bought it.

About the same time it began to dry up, a strange smell assailed my nostrils. Almost two weeks in and I still can't pinpoint it. Just when I think it's the tree, I smell it in another area of the living room. I thought it was the dogs —they got baths; I thought it was the floor—it got a bath too; I thought it was the furniture—the covers, pillows and pads came off and got baths and everything got doused in Febreze. I am now almost out of ideas. I am close to taking the tree down, because I am now convinced there is a dead animal in the branches somewhere—the smell of rotting flesh swept around our living room by the breeze made from Lulu's tail as she walks past the tree.

Kyle suggested another alternative to the traditional Christmas tree:
He has a point. It would solve two problems—the smell and the lack of smell. The rotting flesh smell would be gone, but we would still have a nice pine scent.

We'll see how long the tree lasts.