Q. Dear Umbra,

I’m visiting my sister out West soon, and she suggested we go cut down a Christmas tree in the woods. This sounds like a terrible idea to me. Isn’t cutting down a perfectly good wild tree bad for the health of the forest? I thought we were trying to save the trees.

John K.
Decatur, Illinois

A. Dearest John,

It’s lovely to see you getting into the spirit of the season. Oh, I don’t mean by selecting this year’s Christmas tree — I mean by gearing up to argue with your loved ones. Family bickering is a time-honored holiday tradition, of course.