Yesterday, we decided to go on our annual Christmas Tree Hunt! We drove out of the city toward our favorite hunting grounds armed with nothing more than hats and mittens ((Except for me who was too focused on everyone else to remember to grab my own, so I was SOL.)) to track down the ever elusive, perfect, Fraser Fir.
Upon arrival we stepped out into the lightly falling snow and found ourselves ankle deep in dark, sucking mud. After kicking ourselves for not going last week when the ground was frozen we set off to collect a saw. Enroute to the saws, Monkey spied the hay ride and was immediately thrown off course. I hurried Duhdee along so that we could ride to the top of the hill in style and comfort behind the exhaust belching tractor but, alas, the ride was full. We promised Monkey that we’d come back and ride it later and set out hunting The Tree.
We spent 20 minutes tromping through a cold, snowy field dismissing all that we saw. Too short, too tall ((These words only ever come out of Duhdee’s mouth. I happen to think that there is no “too tall” when it comes to The Tree but Duhdee insists that the ceiling is only so high. Grinch.)), too skinny, bald on one side, etc. Finally! Duhdee suggested we walk back down to where the hay ride picks up so we could ride to the top of the hill and look up there instead. You didn’t think we’d find a tree in 20 minutes did you??
So we retraced our steps through the mud and snow to the hay ride pick up location only to see it disappearing back up the hill. We missed it. Duhdee suggested looking in the field at the base of the hill so that we would not miss the next ride. Unfortunately, none of the trees in that area were shorter than 20′ which is considerably taller than Duhdee will allow. So. We wandered in the cold, muddy field until the hay ride reappeared.
This time we were ready. Monkey was so excited that he nearly mowed down the other little boy who was trying to get on the trailer. Oops, sorry! Merry Christmas? Ugh. Everyone got situated, the tractor belched out it’s foul stench and we were off! Monkey was thrilled. We rode all the way to the top and he wore a huge grin the entire time. Then we reached the top and stepped off. Monkey sat down on the ground in protest. He didn’t want to get off. When that didn’t work. He cried. Big, fat, tears slid down his cheeks as the tractor drove away. ((OK, so maybe, in the true spirit of things I should have just let him ride back down, right? But that is hindsight, at the time I could no longer feel my fingers and I thought one of my toes had possibly fallen off so, yeah.)) I made him wave bye-bye and dragged him into yet another field of trees.
Never fear, however, it was not all in vain. After three or four more circuits of that field, a few tears and a lot of mud Duhdee decided he’d solved our dilemma. What we needed to do was go back to the field we’d started in. When my eyes bulged out of my head, he asked me where I’d suggest going. I totally get a millon gold stars for only thinking, very quietly, in the deep, dark recesses of my mind “HOME DEPOT“. Don’t you agree? What I did was say, cheerfully, “OK!” And we set off down the hill, through the mud to the exact spot where we’d started an hour before.
Once again we walked through the cold, snowy field but this time it was a Christmas MIRACLE. The trees were not all objectionable anymore. In fact, they all looked perfect. I pointed out tree after tree after tree saying “How about THIS one?” Duhdee only looked at me like I’d lost my mind a few dozen times. Finally, we narrowed it down to two trees that might be a little short but, seriously, I didn’t care anymore. I told him to just pick the taller of the two.
Once he’d determined which of the two trees was condemned he pulled out his borrowed saw and cut that sucker down. When Monkey saw Duhdee kneeling on the cold, wet ground working he decided to finally stop crying and help. He first tried supervising while staying on his feet but the view was not very good so he finally got down on his knees and peered under the tree to offer his best advice on the proper cutting technique. He did a great job too, the tree was cut perfectly…except for the one spot where I pulled on the tree and I shouldn’t have so it was slanted. Oops. But other than that, and Monkey cannot be held responsible for my ignorance, it was a job well done.
We hurried back to the barn and gave up our tree to the wrapping machine. While Duhdee tied the tree to the roof, Monkey and I sat in the truck sipping hot chocolate with the heat on high. Gradually we were restored to good humor and by the time we got home I was even in the Christmas spirit again. Truly a Christmas Miracle in and of itself.
This morning, Monkey woke to a completely decorated house. He loves the tree. He is obsessed with the angel. He wouldn’t even eat breakfast, he wanted to stand and touch the tree and tell us how soft it was. When we finally were able to get him ready for school, only a half hour late, he cried big, fat tears once again as we left the tree and walked to the truck. I promised him it would be there when he got home. I do hope this wears off by mid-January so we can take it down!
And, in case you’re curious, we’ll totally go cut our own tree again next year too. What can I say, we’re gluttons for punishment when it comes to making “memories.”