This is the latest we’ve ever put up a Christmas tree. It’s also the first year that both of my daughters have been away at college.
“Please wait until we get home, so we can get the tree together,” they begged.
Traditions are important to us – especially at Christmas time. It’s always been a family activity, so my husband and I waited for them to finish final exams and return home before getting a tree.
Eager to put equations, theories and philosophical debates behind them, they donned their scarves and gloves, and we loaded into our 1993 Ford pickup with the tired shock absorbers and the window that doesn’t seal properly. The only things louder than the wind whistling in the window, were the Christmas tunes on the radio – that, and the laughter.
It was dark when we got to the farm, but the white board fencing told us we had arrived. It was a few minutes past closing time, but the strings of overhead Christmas lights in the lot were still on. We piled out of the truck. It was not as cold as in past years – what with global warming and all. And, the selections were rather sparse, but we headed over to the stand of pines leaning against a support rail.
We poked and prodded. Was it tall enough? Was the tip going to support our angel tree topper? Did the branches leave enough room for our treasure of ornaments (each with its own unique story)? Was the trunk nice and straight, so our tree would stay securely in the stand…not like that one year?
Finally, a selection was made. Cash exchanged hands and the Fraser fir was deposited in the back of our Ford. We headed for home, stopping in at a local joint for enchiladas, tamales and way too many chips. The salsa was so hot, it made our voices hoarse when we laughed.
Had we found the ultimate shapely specimen? Not really. The tree had a sizeable dent in one side, resembling a boy with a bad haircut. Its trunk was a little off kilter, and all its needles would probably not stay intact until Jan. 1, the day we usually take down our Christmas decorations.
No, it wasn’t a picture perfect, Southern Living kind of tree. The excursion was, however, perfect. We were celebrating a season very important to us, we were together, and we’d made another deposit in our collective memory bank.
Joy to the world!
Note: Traditions play a big role in the fabric of holidays. Our family always made reading part of our Christmas season traditions: the Christmas story in the second chapter of Luke in the Bible, “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey,” “The Christmas Kitten,” “The Night Before Christmas” and many more. BigUniverse.com offers several Christmas-themed selections, including “Penguin’s Special Christmas Tree”. Read about Penguin’s quirky tree-trimming efforts, as he tries to find the perfect tree topper before Santa’s arrival. The Christmas children’s book is written by Jeannie St. John Taylor, illustrated by Molly Idle and published by Lobster Press. The book is leveled for first-graders, but will be of interest to those 8 and younger. Click on this link for other bedtime stories at Big Universe Learning.