Sunday, December 30, 2012

christmas tree hunting

Chad and I both grew up with real trees every year for Christmas.  It was just the right way of doing things.  In fact, my little brother calls people with artificial trees, "fake-tree-families."  For five years we were one of those.  We were given a hand-me-down Christmas tree just after our first Christmas.  I thought it was a nice artificial tree.  Chad hated the thing.  That is mainly because he was in charge of setting it up each year, in an old metal tree stand I saved from when I was in collage in Rexburg (which means it was cheap and made for a real tree).  He also had to put the lights on, which proved to be a trail every year.  Last year I was assigned to buy a new tree at the after-Christmas sales.  They were all gone when I got there.  I admit that I was not sad.  I really didn't want to fork out the dough to buy a new one.  When we moved Chad begged me to let us just leave it behind, but as is usually the case, I won.  It arrived safely in Ohio. 

This year, as the holiday season approached, Chad started early to plan the seeds of discontent in my heart.  He started looking up tree farms and  talking about the smell of the Christmas tree that just screamed, "Family Christmas!"  I didn't fully give in until the day I had to buy a new tree stand (the trusty rusty did not make it safely to Ohio).  As I stood there in Wal-Mart in front of the tree stands, I could see I had only two cheap options.  One was for a real tree.  The other for a fakie.  Right next to the tree stands were these little sticks meant to be hung in your fake tree that were supposed to make it smell real.  I had already decided I would be including them in my purchase.  However, all of the seeds Chad had planted got me.  If I just gave in and got a real tree, I wouldn't have to buy the tree smell too.  Chad won.

I googled tree farms (there are no mountains in this state to go real Christmas tree hunting), make few phone calls, and made a decision.  It was a good one too! It was about 25 minutes away, but you could choose any tree you wanted for $30.00.   Chad's day off just happened to be in the middle of the week on a perfect day.  We were greeted by a guy with a lumber-jack type beard in a green flannel shirt.  He led us into this cute renovated old bard that was decked out for Christmas, and smelled like Heaven!  They had us stand by the fireplace in the middle of the barn to get warm before going out.  They popped us popcorn over the fire while Christmas music was playing and answered all of our questions about their business while we enjoyed the surroundings.  It was so fun!
Then off to the field we were told had some of their tallest trees.  Wish a tree wagon pulling the crew, we sang songs and walked all the way to the end of the field comparing our options.  After some debate, we finally settled on one, and Chad started sawing.  It wasn't as big as we had hoped, but it was full.
Once we arrived back at the barn we pet the donkey that was there.  The lady that we paid was so funny.  She saw our tree and said, "I know this tree!  Did you get it about five rows from the back near the east fence?"  She really did know the tree, and apparently really loves the trees on her farm she grew from little seedlings!  We didn't tell her that we planned to trim the top that she had left tall to give it "personality."  Then we watched as our tree was shaken and wrapped.  This was fun to watch and made life so much easier than trying to do it ourselves.   Actually, it wasn't just easier, it was all kinda magical.  I 
it far exceeded our expectations, and it has already been decided that this will be our new Ohio family tradition!

As it turned out, it really was a prefect Christmas tree.  It was much taller than we thought once we got it inside.  It was exactly the right height (9 feet with a half inch to spare), full and beautiful.  While it was about the odorless real tree I have ever had, I think that was a blessing.  Smells have a tendency to bother me these days.  Maybe next year when all six of us head back to the tree farm, the tree we already picked out for next year will smell better!