How lovely are your branches!!!
As a child, I remember the years my mom and dad took my brother and I out to find the perfect Frazier Fir among the forest at the local tree farm. There was “a feeling” like no other when we set out on this adventurer. I remember wearing what seemed like 15 layers to stay warm, but it was well worth it. Finding the perfect tree, loading it up, getting it home and decorating was an essential part of bringing in the Christmas season. Not to mention the smell. The fragrance of a fresh cut tree in the house sent warm chills down my spine as this was only the beginning of what was my favorite time of the year. I have great memories of stringing popcorn on heavy duty thread with a needle and placing it among the homemade ornaments and Christmas balls of red, gold green. Warm memories of years past as I hung ornaments I had made throughout grade school. These are times I will never forget…times I will cherish forever.
Fast forward to growing up now and having a family of my own. Of course, carrying on the tradition with our boys started around 10 years ago. We had always purchased a fresh cut tree from a local stand when they were little but decided as they got a older to take in “the full experience”… load everyone into the car the day after Thanksgiving and take a short trip to the Elizabeth Tree Farm. We are fortunate as the farm is less than 10 minutes from our home. All of the boys, my mother, and now girlfriends join us in the search for the perfect tree.
The whole experience has become a tradition for many families in and outside our town and county. People travel to this tree farm and stand in obnoxiously long lines waiting for a horse drawn cart sometimes literally “over the river and through the woods”…Depending on the year, the horses may or may not take the route where they travel through a shallow body of water to get to the other side where the trees are. Some years we barely needed a coat and other years we had trouble feeling our frozen fingers and toes. The colder the weather the faster we find a tree. One of our sons, didn’t like the family photo taking part of our adventure. So one year he buried his head in a tree. Only one year though…A few days later he had poison oak all over his face and body. That was a year to remember! LOL!
The “almost final phase” of the “full experience” is getting a mini candy cane and hot chocolate in the warm barn where lighted Christmas trees, decorations, fresh wreaths and sometimes Santa Clause can be found.
Now, for my husband’s absolute “favorite” part. I cannot leave it out of this real life story because it’s part of the annual experience. “Highway robbery” he says…every year before AND after we pay the bill. I must admit, any “spectacular adventure” generally comes with a price tag. I like to call it that because it makes me feel better. I think last year it cost us $9.00 a foot. There are signs all over the place warning the public not to cut the long runner off the top of the tree. I have to say, it’s tempting to chip a little off given it usually has to be done anyway to get it to fit nicely in our home from floor to ceiling. I continue to try and convince my husband that you can’t put a price tag on a tradition/memory. We agree to disagree. I look at it as a gift to me for constantly cooking side dishes for days and delivering a Thanksgiving feast without complaining every year.
A Costco tree for $30.00 doesn’t hold a candle to years of memories made…even at an absurd price tag. I’m counting down the days now until 2019’s “O Christmas Tree” adventure begins.
Thoughts for today…
1) Traditions are spectacular and at times might come with a price tag!
2) ‘Tis the season for memory making!
3) EVERYDAY choose JOY!