Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Our Trip to the Tree Farm
My first real Christmas tree was purchased the first year I was married, a newlywed in our little old duplex on Fareway Lane. We didn't go to a tree farm, but picked it up from a greenhouse while we were running errands one Saturday. I remember dancing around like a sugarplum fairy at the sight of our first tree, its twinkling lights, and our sweet little kitty nestled underneath like a picture out of a storybook. Then, not even fifteen minutes later, I watched in horror as our sweet kitty turned into a jungle cat, jumping from branch to branch, knocking ornaments to the ground, and forgetting all things litter box and deciding to rough it and pee on my brand new tree skirt.
I was scarred for life, insisted on never getting a real tree again, and questioned bringing our kitty back to the Humane Society until New Years. Let's just say it was a long December.
Fast forward to today, a pet-free house and a 'pre-lit' tree with half its lights burnt out later and we decided it was the year to try a real tree again. We made plans to visit a local Christmas tree farm the Saturday after Thanksgiving and see how it went.
We really couldn't have asked for a better day to cut down our first Christmas tree. Saturday was above average temperatures; however, the tree farm was still covered with a nice blanket of snow perfect for the snow angels and snow balls Cruz has been requesting since the flakes flew two weeks ago. The sun was shining, the air smelled like pine needles, and smiling families gathered all around, snapping pictures, chasing children, and kindly discussing their idea of the perfect Christmas tree.
It took us awhile to find 'the one,' but finding the tree was only half the fun of our adventure. Cruz loved the snow and the smile on his rosy-cheeked face rarely faded all morning long. He especially lit up when Beau introduced him to the art of making a snowball. His giggle became our Christmas carol as he not-so-secretively hid behind pine trees and chanted 'Snowball Fight!' before throwing his snowball at me or his daddy.
We let our child play with power tools.
After finding our tree and using Beau's sawzall to cut it down, we headed back to the makeshift village for cookies, popcorn, cider, and a visit with the man of the hour - Mr. Santa Claus himself. Cruz asked for tools so he could build skyscrapers.
I loved so much about this morning at the tree farm. I loved that I finally found a pair of boots Cruz was happy to wear, that he insisted on carrying Beau's tape measure in his pocket, that he was always three steps behind Beau and I, and that every time we'd look back, we'd see this perfectly content little soul with a smile on his face, trudging through the snow, tripping every now and then, and choosing to lay down with the sun on his face and make a snow angel while he was down there. We watched him, smiled, and felt like kids again. I absolutely loved the authenticity of strapping a tree to the top of the car, driving down the highway listening to Christmas music, and stopping for cheeseburgers and chocolate milk at Toads in our sweatshirts and snow boots. I love that although our tree is most definitely not shaped as well as our artificial one and that many of the branches aren't strong enough to hold our ornaments, it seems to fit our life and our story quite well at the stage we are in. I love that when I look closely, I notice clusters of ornaments just sort of perched on top of branches and that Cruz has now memorized the talking nativity ornament I gave him on his very first Christmas.
I'm not sure if we'll continue to get a real tree in the future, but either way, I hope a visit to the tree farm is a yearly treat. There is something very Christmas about bundling up and trudging through a field of pretty greens.