Getting the Tree
A simple kind of Christmas–getting the tree. It is a tradition I want. It is memory making. It is on my list of must dos–must. We traipsed out year after year–snow or no snow–to find that perfect tree.
This is the year I realize that this tradition is more important to me than to any of the rest of my family. I want the storybook–I want a roaring fire and hot chocolate waiting for me in the wide fields of evergreens. I want reindeer and a wagon ride and a sled and a saw to take deep into the forest of trees.
We have moved away from the traditional tree farm we have gone to for the past 15 years. We searched and found what we thought would be the perfect place in our new area. It didn’t have reindeer–but I was hopeful for my storybook day to pick out our tree.
We were told to wait in a line for our trip to pick out our tree–I love the wagon ride–I love being cold with complete strangers all expecting that same wonderful memory for finding that perfect tree. You ride a big wagon all bundled up-out into the middle of trees–beautiful Frazier Firs–the roaring fire-the hot chocolate–the joy of finding that perfect tree and cutting it down–loading it on small tree wagon and heading home with our treasure.
Up pulls up this short white bus–not a wagon pulled by a big team of white horses or a big tractor–no-it wasn’t even a big white bus-those who know me at all know that buses and I do not get along–a bus–to go find my perfect tree–to make special memories with my family–a bus–a bus–
I paced for a few minutes as the short bus filled with complete strangers–all piling onto one another to make that special Christmas memory–I paced and finally gave in to my family’s pleas to ‘get on the bus’–the bus–
There was a field of trees waiting at the end of the trail going down a dirt road full of holes and mud–on a bus full of complete strangers all sitting on laps and standing in the aisles–I am sure this was not legal. I was just relieved to get off that bus–We went up and down the rows of trees–so many trees–and up and down again the rows of trees–
Into the trees and out of the trees–without a tree to be found–‘how about this one?’ ‘Too big.’ ‘How about this one?’ ‘Too small.’ More snow ball fights.
What did we do? We piled back on the bus–yes, the bus–Without a tree–I threatened to walk back to the big red barn where they had at least hot chocolate–and a gift shop.
This was the highlight of the memory making experience. I loved the gift shop. It had that feeling of Christmas all around–I loved the train that ran all around the room on a shelf close to the ceiling.
This is our tree. It was already cut earlier in the day and waiting for us back at the barn. My hero will never hear the end of making me ride a bus to pick out my perfect tree–and then not even being able to find one to cut down. Which at this particular farm, cutting down your own tree was not allowed–
We loaded up the tree and as we drove–we talked and laughed about the bus ride–the mud–the dirt road–the snowball fights–the watery hot chocolate and no fire and not cutting our own tree–I realized at that moment–we did make those memories. Not the memories I had in my mind of years past–but new memories–one that won’t blend into the next. This year has made a mark in our timeline of getting the tree memories.
All dressed up with lights and a star. Now just waiting for those ornaments–which will take another post because they hold their very own set of memories. So–here’s to getting the tree –and hoping the memories you make this year make you smile–even when you have to ride a short white bus to get them.