"The perfect Christmas tree?
I used to love having a real Christmas tree. Growing up, it's all my brother and I knew... Mom would bundle us up, and out we'd go for our annual drive down winding gravel roads. It felt as if we'd never get there, but then... there was a white sign with a green Christmas tree. We'd park near the farmhouse, get out and start walking... and walking. Up and down rows of seemingly endless trees.
All Christmas trees are perfect!"
~ Charles N. Barnard ~
At last we'd find 'the perfect one' and stand guard while Dad went to find someone to dig it up. See, we not only had real Christmas trees, we had real live Christmas trees. Every year after Christmas, it would take it's place somewhere in the yard with our other special pines. When I was about 12, we moved from my childhood home to a new one. It was exciting in many ways, but there were, of course, things we were sad to leave behind. Among them, our Christmas trees.
After moving into our new home, we eventually changed the tradition of visiting a tree farm. We instead had a beautiful Christmas tree that could be put up the day after Thanksgiving, didn't need water, had needles that never fell, came with perfectly placed lights, and could be used again, year after year... and I came to prefer this kind of tree.
I bought a beautiful Christmas tree for my husband and I to use, 8 years ago. Occasionally my husband would mention having a real tree, but I thought it'd just be a big hassle, with us having young children. Finally, I gave in 2 years ago...
Cold, rainy, muddy memories come to mind. Our children were ages 4 and 5. It was hard for them to keep up, and they just wanted to leave. We chose a traditional Scotch pine, which wasn't my favorite, but time was up ~ according to our kids. After getting it home, my husband realized we'd bought a crooked tree... he had to use nails and tie on rope to keep it straight and stabilized. It's one of those stories that we laugh about now...
This year, my husband kept hinting it could be nice to have a real Christmas tree again. I was pretty doubtful, but kept it to myself. Now I'm glad we went back.
We arrived just in time to be taken on a hay ride through the pines. Pulling the wagon were 2 beautiful Clydesdale horses, outfitted with sleigh bells. We jumped off to begin our search, and after walking... and walking, we chose a Frasier fir. We hitched a ride back the same way we came ~ my husband and daughter sat with the man driving the horses. My son sat close to me and kept saying how happy he was we were there. What a difference 2 years makes!
I had to buy new lights, as a string I used 2 years ago would only light halfway. Needles constantly litter the carpet, and I have to remember to water the tree daily... This year our tree is straight (thank goodness!) but still isn't store-bought perfect...
The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect... Yes, and for our family, it's the one in our window tonight, shimmering with white lights. I'm so thankful for my husband's persistance, the memories that were made... and for a renewed family tradition.