Monday, December 12, 2005

To Tree or Not to Tree, That is the Question

We are “Real Christmas tree” people. I always had a real one growing up and so did Mr. Right. I can’t picture switching to a fake one. I love the smell of the fresh cut tree entirely too much!

So a week ago, the kids and I went out to the choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm to… well, choose and cut our very own Christmas tree. It was “a day of fun” (said the kids).

I picked the kids up a tad early from school because I was using my father-in-awe’s truck and the headlights had decided to quit working the moment we got it, so we had to do everything before it got dark. The kids were thrilled because 1) they realized they weren’t in trouble, even though they were summoned to the Principal’s office, 2) they got to leave school early, especially on a Friday and 3) they were excited to pick out the tree. This year was the first time that they would have a say on which tree we would get. I, of course, had winning vote. [I love being the mom… I have Ultimate Power (cue echo sounds) Wah Ha Ha Ha…]

On the 20 minute drive to the farm, we sang Christmas carols, listened to the Christmas station in town and tried to keep warm. (We happened to be going on one of the coldest days we had so far.) We discussed all sorts of things, like decorating the tree, what kind of tree we wanted (green was a priority on their list), and how soon it would take us to find “the perfect tree”.

I really liked the family-owned farm. The family tried to make it a fun adventure for everyone. We took a hayride, which was mighty cold, out to the trees; when the tractor stopped, the driver told me to take a saw and to go find a tree. He would be by later to pick us up.

Now when I said I wanted to go to a choose-and-cut tree, what I really meant was that I wanted to go to a place where I would choose and someone else would do the cutting, dragging, shaking and carrying. That is my idea of a good time tree hunting.

I must have had this deer-caught-in-the-headlights (but not my headlights because remember- they were not working) look, because he then said “Put the saw on the tree and I will come by and cut it for you when you are ready.”

Ahhh… Much better.

So the kids and I walked the tree farm looking for the right one. Boy, were they picky! I would have taken the third tree I saw, but it wasn’t full enough for them. They kept walking around looking for a tree that was tall, full and very green. They wanted one not so pokey, but I told they that that was part of tree package deal. They decided that would be okay, as long as they didn’t have to touch the tree. They actually agreed on a tree in a fairly reasonable, amount of time. And they were nice about it!

Darn… I’ll have to use that Ultimate Power some other time…

Long story short (TOO LATE!), we found our tree, had it cut and drugged to the stalls where they shook the life out of it (the kids really laughed at that sight) and the son of the farm owner carried our tree to the truck. We went in to pay for it and they had some hot chocolate and a peppermint stick for everyone, along with a fireplace to warm us up.

Yes, we did make it home before dark. Mr. Right came home, and we started the festivities of decorating the tree.

I’m thinking this is a tradition that I want to keep going for as long as possible. These are the memories that I hope stick with the kids … and me too.
Photo: See they really were nice to each other that day!


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