"Laocoön and His Sons Trim The Tree"
Marble, wire, bulbs, plugs
The unknown sculptor has attempted to document the tribulations of the very first decorating of a Xmas tree in 1 AD. Laocoön was one of those people who has to be the first to try anything new. If he lived today we would have called him an early adopter and sold him a TRS-80 computer and an Edsel.
Intrigued by the holiday commemorating the birth of a brand new god, Laocoön decided to celebrate the first anniversary of the magic event by putting up what he called a "Jesus bush" in his living room. He enlisted the help of his two sons, Procrastines and Slaqueros to help with the decoration.
The problems began when they reached the tree farm and discovered that all the reasonably-priced trees had already been bought up for the Saturnalia Festival, and Laocoön was forced to pay through the nose for a more expensive organic variety, while at the same time being harassed by sons, who kept pointing out that they were stark naked and the temperature was near freezing. Worse yet, when they got the tree home they couldn't get it in the house without removing the doors and begging for slaves from the neighbors. Then Laocoön's wife Lackawanna blew her stack when she saw needles and sap streaks all over her newly polished marble floors.
Tragedy did not strike however, until the time came to put on the lights. Not being familiar with the process, Laocoön attempted to put the strings of lights on the tree while they were plugged in. Being naked and sweaty from the exertion of getting the tree in the house, he was a perfect conductor when one batch shorted out, with lethal results for himself and his offspring.