Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Tree Hunting

When I was a kid, we ALWAYS cut down our tree. We lived on a farm that was chalk full of the most perfect Christmas trees you have ever seen in your life (well, at least that's how I remember them). My mom would suit up all five of us kids, we would sit on the back of the feed truck while she drove to the river, we would trudge through the sometimes lots, sometimes a little snow, singing Christmas carols and scouting out the perfect tree. My dad wasn't always with us, so Mom would have to cut the tree. As we grew up, I think my brothers took over the honors. We would drag it out, load it up and take it home. That seems like a fairy tale way to get a Christmas tree now.
Theres' so much snow here, that trudging through it means you would be up to your eyeballs. If you didn't take the time in the Summer or Fall to find the perfect tree and draw a map to it, well... good luck. My first five years here, I MADE Brian continue my life-long tradition of tree hunting. Our house was (and still is, but pre-reno days) so small that we couldn't fit a real tree in here, so our quest was always for a little two foot high, the more Charlie-Brown the better, kind of tree. Last year, Maizeys first Christmas and our first year in our newly totally renovated house, Brian refused. He insisted that we would buy a fake tree. I insisted that NO, in fact we would NOT be buying a fake tree, and as long as I am around and able bodied, we WILL be getting a real one. I of course, won. But I did have to go get the tree myself. My father-in-law came with me, and the two of us scoured the 40 acres. After a few hours, it was becoming clear that even though they are considered some sort of tree farm, there are absolutely no good Christmas trees on the whole place. We finally found an OK tree, the only problem was that it was at least ten feet tall. We decided to cut it down, then cut the bottom six feet off. Sounds like a good idea right? Well, it wasn't. We got it on the ground, but rather than cut the bottom half off out there, Brian's dad wanted to drag the whole thing home, then cut it off, so he could do something with the bottom half. Brilliant. Like I said, snow up to the eyeballs. Oh, and I should mention that when the tree was 10 feet in the air, it looked small and perfectly shaped, nice and full with good branch distribution. On the ground, it was none of those things. We drug the behemoth tree home, cut off the bottom and laughed at ourselves trying to get the god-awful prickly thing into the back of the truck (which it was TOO BIG for!!!). I would have been fine with a Charlie Brown tree. This was much, much worse. It was at least 6 feet wide and the branches were so long they hung straight down. I tied (with the help of Jane) the bottom branches to the ones above using fishing line. The needles were so sharp we only hung half the ornaments. I heard I told you so at least a hundred times. I was this close to losing the battle.
My friend Stacey wanted a real tree too, but didn't want to go cut one. So she bought one of those reasonably priced, really cute looking trees from the grocery store. I kid you not, it was the most perfect tree I had ever seen. And all she had to do was drive downtown and buy it.
So that's what we did this year. Guess what? Its the second most perfect tree I have ever seen in my life.I didn't have to pull out the Christmas tree hunting boots, or even lift a finger.

I just got to watch!

(that's his are you shitting me? just open the effing tailgate... face)

One thing led to another when we got home and so, the Great Purge of 2010 began. There was no place to put the tree and no way to re-arrange the furniture so it would look good. So we decided to get rid of the bakers rack. Which meant we had to get rid of most of the crap on it. etc, etc, etc. Our house is now down two garbage bags full, 3 boxes, half a desk, and a bakers rack. Day two is over. This purge will not end until my house is clutter free, if its the last thing I do.
After close to five hours at it today, we called it quits and headed downtown to the Santa Clause parade.
We met up with some friends,

Maizey wasn't a fan of Calvin, the horse, I mean dog. I, on the other hand, really liked him. And that says A LOT because I pretty much, don't like dogs at all.
We sipped hot coffee, ate shortbread a la Chelsea and Stacey, and watched the floats go by.

I love our little town (technically city, but whatever). We celebrate every little thing. The turn out isn't always great but I think we always deserve credit for trying. The energy downtown, the running into our friends by chance and standing and laughing with them the whole time, the driving around afterwards looking in peoples windows, I mean, at their Christmas lights, going out for Sushi after. I love it all.

 Thanks to all our fantastic watching the parade friends and to those that weren't there (Ang and Paola!!!) - sad face.


  1. That sounds so perfect, the way your mom used to take you out to get a tree. I always wanted to do that. But since we never owned a farm dad always said that it was illegal to just go out and cut a tree down. I don't know if that's true or he just didn't want to do all that work. My dad was always the one to say let's just get a fake one this year, and we'd all put up a fuss and win. After we moved out however he won. Happy tree decorating, we're going to get ours on Thursday but going out to decorate mom and dad's tonight.

  2. I think it might be illegal, but I think you can get a permit for about $5, then go anywhere you want, except private property.
    Hope you had fun decorating your parents (fake) tree!