O’ Christmas Tree
Posted by PintofStout on December 9, 2007
I usually try to avoid the hum-drum posts about my everyday workings and activities, but yesterday was such a fine day that I thought I’d share and do some speculating. The choice of activities had something to do with the quality of the day, but the people we met while pursuing these activities elevated everything beyond pleasant to exhilarating.
The day went something akin to Rockwellian (Norman, not Lew). We arose from bed and got dressed warm to go find a Christmas tree. With coffee in hand, we set out toward a farm where we had cut our own tree four years ago, unsure if it was open or even selling this year. It turns out they weren’t peddling trees, so we ventured back to our fall-back, the volunteer fire department (selling trees for charity). Unfortunately, they didn’t open until noon, which was 1 hour and 45 minutes from then. In route to the fire department we saw a sign for “cut your own trees”, so when our fall-back fell through we followed the signs.
We found the farm selling trees, but still had half an hour to wait before they opened. So we went to a tiny local coffee and pastry shop for some breakfast. The food was delicious and the kid that waited on us was pleasant and easy-going. The 30 minutes passed in easy conversation and we left to find us a tree. We pulled in the driveway and didn’t see anyone around, so we wandered up the hill towards a barn where we found some bow saws and continued up the hill. At the top of the hill was an extremely nice man with his equally nice (and nearly as large) german shepherd and cute-as-a-button young daughter who seemed to fall into the snow every few minutes. He pointed us in some general directions for the trees we were looking for and set off into the pristine blanket of snow among the green fragrant pines.
So we wandered around looking for a tree, the most perfect tree we could find. The reward wasn’t the tree itself, though. The reward was in the looking and the time spent in such an environment. Any tree coming out of this could have been the best tree ever. (An analysis of what makes a good tree follows at the end of the post.)
We picked and cut our tree then chatted with the owner as he drug it to our car, even though we offered to drag it ourselves. He loaded it into our truck far enough that it wouldn’t move and we were off. The whole experience was such that we will go there first next year. On the way home we took a detour to follow signs to a gun store we had never visited near our house. The store, a building behind the owner’s house, was small and neat. Again the owner was very nice and willing to chat some, and he was very informative about the guns we were asking about. When we left to drive home, we reflected upon all the great people and kindness we met this fine, sunny morning. Of course, the background of all this was a morning spent with my lovely wife. We talked and joked and do all the stuff we do together with the synchronicity of dancers on the dance floor. Hand, meet glove. I am still and ever more hopelessly in love with her.
About a Tree
The finer points of finding a good Christmas tree are deeper than I had initially expected. Some if it comes down to personal taste such as size and shape. Some people like rounder and fatter trees while some prefer the taller, slimmer, more isosceles-like trees. We prefer the isosceles trees that are just the right height for our room.
Texture is sometimes an issue. I don’t know why, but some folks like decorating the tree to hurt…a lot. I guess it just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless there are new blood stains on the ornaments. Texture, though, is about trade-offs. Too soft a tree doesn’t have the fortitude to hold ornaments or survive the season gracefully. Too stiff and prickly a tree will hold ornaments – heavy ornaments – and survive the season, but makes the hanger regret every light and ornament hung.
These are some of the things to think about while picking out a tree. The most important thing to think about though, is that the whole thing isn’t about a tree.