Thursday, December 18, 2014

Finding Our Christmas Tree

The search for the perfect family tree began with high hopes from Paul. Despite the begging and pleading from Matthew to pick out a tree during the first week of December, Paul wanted to wait until there was snow on the ground. I looked ahead at the weather forecast and told him the chances were slim to none of having any white precipitant falling from the skies before Christmas because the temperatures were too warm. "We'll wait until Christmas Eve if we have to!" he replied and both Matthew and I groaned.

Isn't it a thing of beauty? It's still wrapped up at this point.
Matthew was very concerned that we were going to leave it like this!

Well, Paul got his wish and we were blessed with a 3-inch coating of snow on the 12th of December. On the 13th, after enjoying a nice breakfast, Paul announced that we were going to select our tree but instead of going to our normal tree lot, we would drive out to a tree farm in the rural area of the county and chop down a tree.

"Don't you think the kids will absolutely love it?!" he asked me. I thought Matthew might be mildly interested but Emma would certainly be unimpressed.

We made the 35 minute drive out to the tree farm. When we arrived, we were greeted by a pair of workers who informed us that we could either cut down a tree in the fields (a tractor would arrive shortly to shuttle us out to the location) or we could make a selection from the group of trees they had already cut down and put on display by the barn. We got out of the car and immediately the kids began complaining about the cold. They were pretty bundled up too. Paul tried to distract them by having them look at the trees on display while we waited for the tractor shuttle. This really didn't work.

"Hey Matthew, which of these trees do you think will make the nicest Christmas tree?" Paul asked Matthew.

"Uhhh....This one," Matthew said, pointing to the tree nearest to his foot. A lot of deep thought went into this decision. "Can we go home now?"

Their whining continued and still there was no shuttle to be seen. I began to suggest that maybe we should just pick one of the already-cut trees. Paul's face fell. At that point, a gigantic arctic gust of wind blew threw the field and the kids began to scream. I saw a couple signs pointing to the barn saying "Hot Chocolate" "Warm Fires" and "Santa Visits". I grabbed the hands of both kids and began dragging them towards the barn: "I'm just going to get them warm and then we can decide what to do."

Inside the barn, the heat felt so, so good. The kids huddled around the fireplace as if they had been standing outside for ages. Then they had a little fun exploring the decorated barn and getting tattooed. (Washable tattoos, of course. Although sometimes they might as well be permanent with how difficult they are to wash off).

This pretty much sums up Paul's frustration with me and the kids.

Paul returned to the barn as well and said that he was just going to buy one of the already-cut trees. He sounded so disappointed. I told him not to be, the kids are still very little and it was really, really cold. Besides, he was the one who wanted to wait for snow and sub-zero temperatures. Had we gotten a tree a couple days ago it would have been nearly 50 degrees! I'm sure the children would have been more cooperative then.

We ran from the warmth of the barn back to our car. After strapping both kids in, we drove into the lot where the workers helped Paul strap the tree to the car. The kids watched happily from the comfort of their car seats. I was pretty happy to stay in the warm car and watch as well.

Notice that they are both tattooed at this point.

Once we arrived home, the kids made up for their lack of enthusiasm regarding selecting the tree by throwing much energy into decorating. They both loved getting out the ornaments and hanging them carefully on the tree branches. We had to encourage Matthew to not put all his ornaments on one branch and Emma to not throw the glass orbs at the cat.

Soon enough, we had a beautiful Christmas tree all adorned and glowing. I'm so glad we only do this once each year.


  1. This is precisely why we just went to Lowes for our tree. And bought one when it was about 60° outside. =)

    1. You have to remember that Paul is from Montana and is used to cutting down his own tree. He was thinking that Matthew might be old enough to enjoy the experience this year - and I think he would have if we had taken advantage of that warm weather. Me personally, picking up a tree the easy, convenient way is just fine. :)

  2. All's well that ends well. Maybe it didn't go quite as planned, but the tree looks beautiful. Whoever put the lights on did a good job.

    1. Thank you! It really is a very pretty tree. I'll tell Paul that his frustration with the lights was well worth it! :)

  3. As a grandma, LOVED you sharing your story, and the look of Hubby's face is priceless. Oh the memories of our past holidays this invoked.......Thanks!