As I said in an earlier post…I have been decorating for Christmas. I have most of the decorating done and our family has always loved going out to the Christmas Tree Farm and picking out a real tree. There was something about watching our tree being cut down by a young man in a bright red elf hat that excited the kids (as well as the grown-ups) after which…everyone helped load the tree onto a cart. The tree would travel in front of us, as we couldn’t wait to get it home and into our house. At the headquarters or “the old shed”, the elf would place the tree in a “shaker” to shake off dead needles. Sometimes it was quite amusing as the “elf” would struggle with the large tree…we never had a small tree….and dead needles would fly out the back of the contraption, looking much like little pellets shot out of the back of a cannon! 🙂
If you live in the Midwest, you know that in late November or early December, it can be very cold and most times snowy… and we loved drinking hot chocolate or apple cider as the tree was being “shook”, as it warmed us both inside and out! The men who assisted tree shoppers would cut down the trees (if asked) and they were dressed with bright red elf hats and the whole scene was very festive! The little shed (which held the hot chocolate and apple cider) had a wide, open door and the roaring fire from the big, black pot-bellied stove warmed cold hands. It was magical and our family loved every minute of the experience. Of course, we tend to remember the good times of the tree shopping…and not the times we wandered around and around the huge lot of trees …(can I say the whole state of Kansas?), fingers and toes numb from the cold as we examined each tree, all the while voices critiquing the shape, the height, the bare spots and holes …before impatience would set in and someone would say in frustration, “lets just take this one”! I have to confess, that wee, small voice would be squeaking from my frozen face…okay…. to be honest, it wasn’t a wee, small voice, but a loud, thunderous boom from a woman half-frozen with tired, wobbly legs… which were protesting the trudging through the snow. Gotta love the memories!
After we returned home, and Momma would finally get warm…(that bone chilling cold is why we moved to Florida) we would put on Christmas music and drink more apple cider and decorate the tree as a family. It was a special time and we all (mostly all) enjoyed making a day of it. Those days of little children and the wonderment and awe were special times. Excuse me, while I wipe a tear from my eye…or is it the onion I was cutting up earlier that is making my eyes “water”?
BUT…..as with all things, kids grow up and finding, cutting and dragging a fresh tree into the house got a little harder to do….and the icy temperatures didn’t help…or perhaps we just became a little more used to doing things that required a little less effort?? 🙂 The untangling of strings and strings of lights also became a chore instead of an enjoyable task. (I think of the movie with Chevy Chase, “Christmas Vacation”, and that huge, giant ball of tangled outdoor lights that he dragged out of his garage and placed in front of his son, Rusty and asked him to untangle the mess)… and I shudder when I remember my broken fingernails as I picked and pulled and looped and unlooped (is unlooped a word?) those onerous, thick, green wire weaves. Alas, the artificial tree loaded with twinkling LED lights was born and ….the task became so much easier…and warmer too!!! 🙂
So my question to you is this…Do you prefer the convenience of the Pre-lit artificial tree or do you still prefer the fresh tree with the wonderful smell of pine needles permeating through your home during the season? I just remembered the watering of the fresh tree requirement…Ugh! another fond memory! Also, do you go to a tree farm or do you go to a Christmas tree Lot to get your tree?
We succumbed to the artificial tree when we were overseas – the expense of a real tree in places like Tokyo has to be experienced to be believed.
But now we are back in ‘Merica, and tho the plastic thing is in a box in the basement (’cause I NEVER throw anything out, since you asked), I do the Real McCoy. Hang the inconvenience of crawling under it to water it, or getting pricked put on the lights and ornaments (and then disassembling after Epiphany)
But, in FL? I’m not sure a real tree fits in at all (maybe starting with your pocketbook). Maybe a “tree” of palm or palmetto? Probably don’t have a chimney, neither? Well, I guess snowbirds have to make some pretty painful adjustments.
I’m still waiting for my invitation to sip hot chocolate by poolside….
Thanks Pete for your comments! Actually, the tents that are set up all over the city do sell “real” Christmas trees …and the tents are air conditioned…Wow! Yes, tis’ true! And believe it or not….gosh I sound like Ripley!:( …people do buy the real wreaths and trees. I, personally don’t because the Captain and I like to open the house up in November, December, January, February and March….and the warmer temps are not conducive to the cold required for the tree to remain fresh for even a few weeks. So, I confess…we do have artificial trees already laden in LED lights! When I feel the need for pine smells…I grab a can of air freshener and run through the house holding my nose as I release spurts of spray to get that “natural” aroma of freshly cut trees!
Open Invitation is always laid out for all friends and family…whether it is hot chocolate by the pool,a glass of wine or an icy bottle of water!