Cap and trade and Christmases past


One facet of American culture that so many of us enjoy is the reminiscing of past Christmases and the holiday traditions of former generations. In the wake of the global warming frenzy and the sought after totalitarian regulation that liberals are demanding from Washington to flush out any behavior deemed environmentally unfriendly, I began to envision the questions I will get from my grandchildren decades from now around the Christmas holiday. It will probably go something like this:

“Tell us again how Christmas used to be, Grandpa.”

“Well, kids, believe it or not, people used to mount Christmas lights on their houses and turn them on every night during the holiday season. Sometimes entire neighborhoods would do this in coordination. It was so amazingly beautiful at night to drive around and see the sparkling lights. Lots of people also strung lights on their Christmas tree.”

“You mean people back then turned on lights just to make things look pretty. Didn’t the carbon police patrol the neighborhoods back then?”

“It was a different time back then, kids. People had a lot more freedom than they do now. Geez, the government would probably seize your home today if you strung thousands of Christmas lights on it.”

“I read on one of the underground Internet sites, Grandpa, that some people even had live Christmas trees back then. Is that true?”

“Sure it was. There were even Christmas tree farms back then that grew them.”

“That’s crazy, Grandpa.”

“I know it’s hard to understand but it was such a nice tradition. The smell of pine would radiate throughout the room. Families used to take pride in going to pick out the perfect tree every year. Some people had artificial trees back then. Your grandma and I did, but that’s because we wanted to. Now it’s the law. Of course the artificial trees today are so much smaller in order to decrease the size of their carbon footprint.”

“Did you get lots of presents back then, Grandpa?”

“It’s funny because back then people thought children got too many presents. The floor around the Christmas tree would be completely covered with presents every year. My goodness, there were so many presents. The malls would be filled with shoppers every December as people scurried about finding the perfect gifts for everyone on their Christmas list. That was back before all the jobs went to China and India as a result of cap and trade. Now, of course, with the limited carbon credits you get assigned every year, you can only buy presents for your immediate family and even then your carbon allowance doesn’t go very far.”

“That’s not fair, Grandpa, that we only get one present and you got so many back then.”

“I know it seems that way, although some people think that things are much fairer today now that everyone can only buy the same number of presents, unless of course you trade carbon credits on the black market, which a lot of folks do now.”

“Do you buy carbon credits on the black market, Grandpa?”

“Shhhhhh, kids. You never know who’s listening these days, children. Don’t ever ask questions like that.”

“How did you refrain from playing with your toys under the tree up until Christmas Day, Grandpa, if they were underneath the Christmas tree for days at a time?”

“Well, back then, we used to wrap our presents. We’d use beautiful shiny paper and tie elegant bows around the wrapping. It made the presents so lovely and would make it fun not knowing what was underneath the wrapping.”

“You mean people wasted all that paper back then?”

“We didn’t look at it that way back then. It was fun and such a lovely tradition.”

“I wish we lived back in your day, Grandpa.”

“I know you do. Well, time for bed. Get into your triple layer flannel pajamas. I heard on the news today that the government is turning all the thermostats down to 52 degrees tonight, so it’s going to be a cold one. Merry Christmas, kids.”

Brad Rudisail

Peachtree City, Ga.