When I was a kid, ours was the family who, on the first weekend in December, loaded up in the family car and headed out to the tree farm to find our Christmas tree. We drove for almost an hour and when we got to the farm we trekked hill and down dale until, sometimes in the bitter cold and whirling snow to find the perfect tree…and one that we all agreed on. Not always easy. And once we did my dad would get down on the ground with his saw and cut down our tree. We all pitched it to haul it back to the car. After securing it to the top of our car, we headed to the barn for hot cocoa.
We’ve been in Florida for over 4 years now and tree farms are something I miss about living in the North. I have been thinking that maybe we can plant some on our property for our annual Christmas tree, but I haven’t looked into whether or not they do well here. Meanwhile, I still wanted the experience of chopping down our tree.
Now that we have 5 acres that are covered in trees, I thought we should give it a go anyway. Florida pines are much different than those in other areas. They are much more sparse with longer needles. Oh but that didn’t matter. We walked the paths, checking out each and every tree, no matter how big or small. Because it was all about the experience. And then I saw it. Up, up, up we all stared at our 50 foot tree that I was imagining standing brilliantly in our living room (10 foot ceilings? No problem! That’s what axes are for, right?). We all agreed that this was our tree. So Scott began to chop. We all waited excitedly for our tree. Our friend and neighbor came walking down the driveway just at that perfect moment with 3 of his 4 girls. He gave Scott a hand, one chopping and one pulling on the tree with a rope, and the chopping went faster.
After hauling it inside, we stood it up and…..it was too tall. But not by much. A quick hack with the saw and a moment to bolt it to the wall so it didn’t fall atop a child and we were back in business.
When I was a kid we had two different records (yes, records) that we listened to while we decorated our tree. One was Mickey’s Christmas and the other, the Chipmunks Christmas Album. This year my mom found the Chipmunks Christmas on CD so we listened to that as we beautifully adorned our tree. This is Reed’s first Christmas as a mobile man, so things have been interesting. The bottom 3 1/2 feet of our tree is empty and I will be shocked if he doesn’t try to climb up the trunk at some point.
And just like that memories were made!