If I were the type of wife to tell her husband “I told you so.” Saturday would have been the day.
Every year we go cut our own Christmas tree. We’ve done it on days when it was unseasonably warm, we’ve done it on days when there is fresh snow (to our KNEES) on the ground and this year we did it in the icy, howling wind. OK, maybe it wasn’t howling but it was darn close and it was icy for sure! When we were getting ready to leave home I asked if we should wear boots (it had been raining for a couple days.) Oh, no! We don’t need boots! Sneakers will be fine! So we all put on our sneakers and headed off on our great adventure.
There is a particular tree farm we favor. We have gone to others but we always seem to find the best trees at this one. We had a lovely drive up and, filled with excitement, we pulled into the parking lot. Monkey was so excited that he’d brought his very own reciprocating saw with him. We don’t use power tools to cut our tree but that is the tool he sees Duhdee use to cut things most often so it seemed logical. We jumped out of the truck, turned toward the area where the hayride pick up is and saw…an ocean of deep, dark, gooey MUD. Perfect. Despite the copious amounts of hay they had put down over the mud there was no way to get to the hayride or the trees without crossing the sea of mud. I was feeling very smug that I had thought to at least pack extra socks and shoes for Monkey. Of course, I didn’t bring any for myself nor did I bring any extra pants for Monkey…but still.
We rode to the very back of the farm on the tractor drawn hay wagon. The further uphill we traveled the colder the wind got. By the time we reached the drop off point I was very sorry indeed that there were no mittens for either Monkey or I. Duhdee was wearing his work gloves. Duhdee and I were hat-less to boot. Brrr. We took a quick peek at the trees up there on the hill and then set off briskly for the lower terrain. At least some of the wind was blocked!
Starting the moment that we stepped off the wagon Monkey began galloping around yelling “Cut! Cut!” while brandishing his saw. One woman stopped me and asked if I had a camera to record the excitement. She told me it was her first year cutting a tree without her kids now that her youngest is in college. She looked so wistful as she watched Monkey running and laughing. I forgot all about the cold at that point and just focused on enjoying his excitement.
Some years it has taken Duhdee and I up to two hours to negotiate on the right tree. I, invariably, want one that is too tall and spend those hours asking him repeatedly, “Are you sure it’s tall enough?” Duhdee, invariably, wants to just “look over there quickly” before we end up cutting the tree we picked out in the first place. This year we were done in a half hour! We only seriously considered 3 trees and finally cut the third tree. It was not as tall as I would have preferred but it smelled good and had a lovely shape. Yay! Dudhee and Monkey knelt on the wet ground, saws in hand (Duhdee was using a very dull hand saw as provided by the farm), and proudly claimed our prize.
The farm has several quads with trailers patrolling the fields to help haul the trees down to the barn where the are wrapped and the bottom of the tree is drilled. We wouldn’t normally bother, we just drag it down ourselves but this year we took the easy way out. By the time we’d walked down, negotiated through the mud and chosen wreaths our tree was ready to go. It was a record setting pace!
When we got home Duhdee set up the tree in the newly vacant corner of the dining room (Duhdee’s office has been banished!) Monkey was wide eyed to see the tree all set up and began yelling excitedly “Big! Big! Big!” and “Tree!” He’s still yelling this 3 days later, in fact. He tends to do it mostly when we first wake up or when I get home from work. It’s as if he is just blown away by it every time he sees it again. It’s adorable.
That first night I decided to string the lights and that’s when I made an unfortunate discovery. None of us had actually touched the tree (without gloves) before getting it home. I wouldn’t have thought this was a very big deal because evergreens pretty much all have the same sort of texture. I thought. It turns out that our slightly short (but not really, it’s just the first year the angel’s head doesn’t brush the ceiling, lol), lovely smelling, lovely shaped tree is 3/4 cactus. I had to wear gloves to put on the lights and I put off adding the other decorations for 2 days because I was dreading it.
Next year we’ll have to add another requirement to our “perfect” tree, I guess.