Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

One of my very favorite memories from my childhood is tromping for what seemed like miles through deep snow to cut down "the perfect tree". We cut down our own Christmas tree every year that I can remember. I'm guessing that there was always plenty of complaining because my twin sister and I weren't exactly known for our "fortitude" when it came to physical labor.

It wasn't till I was older that I realized that my first memories of tree cutting were those early years we apparently went to an "old" tree farm that was no longer being maintained, but was open for people to cut trees. The trees that we would cut were like 20 or 30 feet tall (mom and dad, if I am totally off, don't tell, it makes a better story this way!). We would then cut off the top of the tree for in our house, and my mom would use the rest of the boughs for decorating. This was just what was normal to me. Later in my childhood when we went to a "real" tree farm, I couldn't figure out what all those tiny trees were for...where were the trees that were ready to be cut? It was then explained lovingly (and probably with plenty of smiles) by my parents that they were actually the normal height for using in a house, we just had always cut down much taller trees.

We have movies from every year of my sister and I dragging the tree out of the woods like a team of mini, pink snowsuit-clad horses (ok, that is maybe exaggerating a bit, but we did always have to carry the tree out of the woods).

Fortunately, I married a man who grew up with real Christmas trees as well, although I don't know that they went anywhere to cut theirs. Either way, nearly every year since we have been married, there has been the scent of fresh pine in our house at Christmas time.

Now that we have kids, we try to always cut down our own trees like I did when I was growing up (maybe I need them to feel my pain...).

We tromp through the woods well-maintained tree farm,

carefully choose our favorite tree,
get out the hand saw,
and with some help from daddy,
the kids cut down the tree each year.

Daddy and the kids then carry the tree back to our vehicle
(daddy doesn't want to deal with the potential of damaged branches if the kids drug, dragged, drugged,
(ok, I know that last one was wrong for know what I mean!) the tree out)).
I get to take my own video and pictures of the process.

There is still plenty of whining. Kids are kids after all, and of course this year, neither kid would put on snow pants or extra socks. Who would let their kids go out in the snow without snowpants?!? Oh yeah...there are some things that are just better learned by experience.

We always find "The Perfect Tree" (for that year). This year? Another perfect Christmas tree is in our living room and another family memory is in the books.

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