Growing up, we always got a real tree, but never more than one week before Christmas. (And often not more than a day or two before.) There was, therefore, a long-standing tradition of scrambling around, from one parking lot to the next, searching for any remaining trees. My husband and I have more or less carried on that tradition, but without the luxury of a vehicle, since we’ve been married.
So when my mother-in-law asked whether we wanted to drive out of the city and cut down our tree this year, I was skeptical. It was more than two weeks early, and I just didn’t know what Christmas tree hunting will be like without that special holiday desperation in the air. Figuring that it’s only fair for my husband to get to indulge in his childhood holiday traditions (no matter how predictable the outcome) from time to time, I acquiesced. And it was okay.
The tree farm was a good hour’s drive from the city core, and the smallest tree starts at $45. But our tree is beautiful and Colum got to spend the better part of a day getting it. Driving into the “country”, trudging through the snow, “helping” Grandpa saw the tree down, and watching the farm worker truss it makes for a real experience. Whether searching the city streets or choosing a tree to cut down, the point is to make a true occasion out of it.
Post Script: We have decorated our tree now, and the ornamentation is delightfully bottom heavy. At one point there were five shiny balls all hanging from one branch. They have since been dispersed during the daily ornament shuffle, and I’m predicting at least a few will turn up during spring cleaning.