If you've never seen a dried-out Christmas tree catch on fire you're incapable of understanding how swift and violent things can get inside of your living room in a matter of seconds. A former colleague once threw his into a fire pit in the backyard not knowing what would happen. Everyone was impressed with how quickly the fire department arrived. This is the time of year when I begin wishing I hadn't bought my tree lights at a discount store. It's so easy to imagine them kicking off a few sparks and me spending the next several weeks staying on friends' couches.