By Megan Wirts
Every year for the past three years my family has gone on a Christmas Tree hunting adventure! Well, as adventurous as it can be by going across the street to Church’s Christmas Tree Farm. Yes, literally across the street from my house is a gorgeous Christmas Tree farm filled with acres of exceptional evergreens. It’s a pretty awesome view.
Just like many other families, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving we made the 1 ½ minute car ride over to the farm. We were greeted with smells of Christmas, smiling faces and a plethora of trees to choose from. Last year we went with the pre-cut option because of the previous year’s tree cutting debacle. Let’s just say, my husband is not a lumberjack. Don’t get me wrong, he looks good in plaid though.
This year however, our 10-year-old boy, who thinks he might be Paul Bunyan reincarnated, brought along his very own saw and was determined to cut down a tree for us. I was pretty excited to see how this would unfold. If you are going with the cut it yourself options, you can either ride on a hayride to go deep into the farm to find your special tree, or you can drive back there yourself. Since I am not a fan of cold wind blowing in my face, we opted to drive ourselves.
As we started along the path, we oooh’d and aaah’d at all the beautiful trees and argued about when and where we should stop.
Kids: Stop! Stop! Those are perfect!
Me: No! They are too small and not the right kind. I want a Fraser Fir.
Kids: Those are Fraser Firs!
Me: No, I don’t see a sign. Those are something else. I know it.
Husband: Meg, the sign right there says Fraser Fir.
Husband: See, Fraser Fir.
Me: Ok, fine, let's get out.
So, we got out of the car and of course, I needed to get a family selfie. But did anyone else want to get a selfie? No, they wanted to look at the trees. We needed a selfie though, I mean, does anything actually happen if you don’t get a selfie during it? After several requests for them to just stand by me and smile, I finally got one good one. Phew. Mission accomplished. Now to find the tree.
There were SO many to choose from, but we had very specific requirements for our tree. First, I wanted a Fraser Fir, because they hold their needles well and you don’t feel like you are being stabbed by tiny swords every time you hang an ornament and end up with bloody hands. They are my favorite tree. Second, it needed to be at least 8 feet tall and couldn’t be more than 5 feet wide. The problem was that we forgot our measuring tape and we didn’t feel like going alllll the way home to get it, because you know it was such a long ride. So, we decided to eyeball it.
As we strolled through the trees and said, “That’s it, no…that’s it!” over and over. We finally found one that looked as if it belonged in our home. It was the perfect height, we hoped, and it was filled out beautifully with no dead needles and no squirrels living in it. It was perfect!! My son grabbed his saw and went to town, while the rest of us watched and relaxed. Seriously, this kid can cut down a tree! He had it down in no time with no trouble at all. We just had to give a little push and TIMBER, our tree was down. Now, he wants to cut trees down all the time. I won’t let him, but he wants to. My husband was thrilled because now, he will never have to cut a tree down again!
We flagged down the tractor with the hayride and threw the tree on and headed back to the Moose House, that is filled with delicious snacks, fresh roasted chestnuts and most of all it’s warm! Then after the tree farm workers complimented our boy on such a great cut, we had our tree trimmed, shook and baled. Then we were ready to tie it to the roof of our car and away we went. With it being just a few hundred feet away we were pretty sure it wasn’t going to fall off. It didn’t.
When we got it home we set it up in the stand and marveled at its beauty and how we got one just the right size. Usually I try to force the tree trimming to be some fantasy from a Hallmark Movie and it usually ends with me screaming “MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS!! THIS ISN’T FUN ANYMORE!!”.
Just like I did last year, I decided not to stress about it. So, if the kids didn’t want to help put up ornaments, I wasn’t going to push it. I just let them decide when it would happen. That’s why it took us three days to get it decorated. Finally, on Monday after school it was time. We put on some Christmas music and decorated the tree together as a family. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t chaotic and rushed. It was easy, relaxing and wonderful reminiscing about Christmases past. We ended the night all snuggled up on the couch, listening to Christmas songs and our hearts were all filled with joy and contentment.
I have realized over the years that the more I try to force a fun filled family day, it never goes as planned and it’s never fun. Those days that are spontaneous and natural, those days are the best. Those are the days that I look at my little family and I want to freeze time. I want to bottle up those feelings and keep them forever.
As I sit here in the light of my Christmas Tree with my family all around, one is looking at their phone, one is watching a video and the other snuggled up next to me, I am happy. Just simply happy.
And that’s all I need.
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