Hunter S. Thompson is best known for his novels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary (along with the movies, too) and for pioneering the style of Gonzo journalism. Now he’s also going to be known for one of the oddest Christmas traditions ever: setting your tree on fire.

While today we either leave our trees outside for trash day, or drop it back in the woods, or pack it up and put it in the attic because it’s a fake tree, Thompson decided to take a completely different approach to the end of Christmas. After Christmas, when it was time to take the tree down, it’s final resting place became the fireplace. Because why just leave your tree outside in the wilderness when you can watch it BURN?

A writer for Time magazine actually got to witness this Thompson tradition back in 1990. Sam Allis visited Thompson’s Colorado cabin, Owl Farm, and watched the tree burn, baby, burn. He also almost got to see Thompson set the entire cabin on fire, too. As you know, wood burns pretty fast, and pine needles burn pretty fast, and the fire spread very fast and very quick up the mantle.

And oh yeah, we know this because it’s all on glorious 90s video.

The video not only shows the tree going up in flames, but the view from outside the cabin as well. That angle makes it look like the whole cabin is on fire, including a chimney that is spitting fireballs. It’s a pretty scary sight to see. Check out the full video of it below, and hey friends, don’t try this Thompson tradition at home.

(Image via Shutterstock)