“Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, from the event that inspired it, hoping for a white one, to wrapping presents. But mostly I love having family and friends gathered, and sharing traditions.” — Ellen Hopkins
This year was our second year going out to cut down a fresh Christmas tree. It is becoming a Christmas favorite for my husband and I. For our first year, I don’t know what prompted us to go a tree farm. Perhaps a conversation about the aroma of a real tree was our catalyst. But at the time our daughter was only a few weeks old. I had us on Rapunzel lock down because in our neck of the woods, cold and flu season had begun, and I wasn’t going to take any chances. The day we went was a warmer day, still we put her in her new pink coat matching baby Uggs (a hospital gift that were just the cutest) and had the bundle me installed in the car seat. I knew she would be nice and toasty. It’s about a 40 minute drive to the Christmas tree farm we go to. It’s perfect; straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. When we got there the first year, the owner, an older gentleman, who had a white beard and the gentlest demeanor, asked if it was our first time there. He chatted us up about all the tree varieties and how he personally went out and pruned all of trees. After a little small talk about the farm and our new baby, he said something that would stick with us forever:
“The love you have for your child is unlike any other. If your wife was to fall overboard, you’d think, ‘I gotta jump in and save her.’ If it was your child, you don’t even think—you just jump right in.”
And here, I thought we were just going to get a tree.
When we returned this year, I knew we weren’t going to get a tree. We were going to bond as a family. Coming home with a tree was just a perk- but still you want that special one. If you have ever been out to pick out a live tree, you know exactly what I am talking about. When we arrived to the farm, one of the younger gentleman there said they had been very busy (they usually go through a 1000 trees in a three weekends, we were coming after the third weekend) and they had some precut trees up front.
Scanning the field my husband said, “Oh, I am sure you still got some good ones left.” Then we set out on our journey through the evergreen forest. After looking at our first twenty trees, We found the perfect one, then we found the tag, “Sold.” We kept looking, After looking at another twenty, we found one that was a contender, but not perfect. “Let’s go look at the precuts” my husband said. At this point I was facing a real internal battle. My heart wanted a tree that we could cut down, despite her imperfections. My Christmas OCD wanted a perfectly symmetric tree that would compliment our living room and make Santa Proud. My husband was with Clark Griswold on this one. We headed back to the front of the farm and right before we reached the precuts, there she was. The Perfect Christmas Tree. “What’s wrong with this one?” My husband asked rhetorically, in disbelief. “Is it Sold?”
“No, it’s perfect”, I responded, “and it’s not tagged as sold.”
“How did we find this tree? More so, how has nobody else found this tree?” He said as more of a statement then a question.
I was as surprised as he was because it was literally the perfect tree and logistically as close to the precut trees as you could get. “I guess it’s just meant to be… it’s our tree.” I said.
He then preceded to cut our tree down.
We then walked it over to get the needles shaken and wrapped to take home. The owner and same gentleman from last year said, “Wow, I can’t believe you found this tree. I want to provide the best trees but inventory has been really low. We went through over a 1000 trees in the last three weekends.”
“I can’t believe we found it either! We were just coming to checkout the precuts, and there it was. We really wanted to cut one down, even if it wasn’t perfect.” I said.
The gentleman smiled and said knowingly, “The tree’s not what’s important, being here with your child, that’s what’s important. Coming out as a family.”
After he wrapped up the tree, he took us into his small shop, where he had to show my daughter the dancing Santa. He then gave us three candy canes to enjoy on the way home.
If this were a Hallmark movie, this is when we would find out he’s really Santa. But even still, it’s people like this gentleman that pass on the Christmas Spirit. He delicately teaches us, it’s not as much about the tradition, as it is the bonding process that takes place around the tradition. When we go to the Christmas Tree Farm, we’re not going for a tree, the tree is just perk of our family tradition. Merry Christmas!