Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the quest for the “perfect” tree meant visiting the Boy Scouts, a local church or the camper of questionable origin inhabiting the abandoned gas station on the corner. Sometimes, it meant visiting all three (or more) but that is a story for another time.
The first Christmas I spent in New Hampshire my future husband and mother-in-law took me to a local tree farm to cut down the tree. I was amazed that such places really existed (city kid, remember??).
Now that we have our own family, one of our traditions is to tag a tree around Thanksgiving and return to cut it down a few weeks before Christmas. It eases us into the Christmas season.
There is a sign advertising trees on a road we travel virtually every day. From the road, you don’t expect much, but once you pull in to the driveway, there are trees almost as far as the eye can see. I love it because clearly this is a side business for the homeowner, but one that he enjoys. We’ve never even met the man. Trees are tagged and purchased on the honor system (another reason I like supporting this business).
The day we went to tag our tree, we’d been geocaching, so I had the GPS with me. For giggles, I set a way point (a fixed location that you can navigate back to) in the GPS, so we could easily find our tree. This would have been much more helpful IF, I had actually remembered to bring the GPS with us when we went to cut down the tree this past Saturday.
Snow had fallen since our initial visit and our collective memory was a little foggy. Eventually Daddy circled in on it and much to everyone’s relief, our carefully selected tree was located.
Then we all paraded back to the truck with our treasure. It rested in the basement overnight to shed its snow and on Sunday decoration commenced.
From a purist perspective, this is far from the perfect tree. It would never have passed my mother’s scrutiny. The trunk isn’t really straight, it has some bare spots and a bulge of growth on one side. The kids love it and, I think it is the perfect tree (even if it does require string to insure it stands upright).
As we were battling to keep the tree upright (see string above), my husband muttered something about an artificial tree next year. I have just four words.
Over my dead body.