My husband grumbles a bit. Why don't we just buy a tree from the Walmart parking lot where they are so nicely displayed, wrapped, and offered at a reasonable price? It would probably be easier, true...
But, there is something magical about wandering through rows of firs, pines, and balsams.
It is peaceful here, and I breathe deeply - the scent of trees is almost heady in the Midwestern winter air. This feels like Christmas to me - no shoppers, no traffic, not even any LED lights. Just simple and pure and honest...just us.
I like how you can look over the horizon and see nothing but trees. If the weather is chilly, you can see puffs of your breath and your toes start to get numb, even with layers of socks and boots.
My daughter and I wander from tree to tree. "This one is perfect," I'll announce. But, on closer inspection, we realize that it has a giant gaping hole on the back side.
"No! Over here!" she'll call. And, we'll obediently trudge another 500 feet to gaze at her favorite type of tree. It looks completely like a fuzzy, prickly, ball - with absolutely no space for ornaments.
"We can't buy that type of tree," I argue. "How will we decorate it?"
My husband laughs, wielding his saw, "You, two, do the same thing every year." So we wander and argue - and keep finding just one more tree - a bit further away - until we are at the very outskirts of the tree farm and miles from our car.
We always stop off at the warming hut for a cup of cocoa - even if the temps are sunny and warm.
We see Santa wandering around the trees, looking slightly out of place a midst so much lumber.
We finally pick a tree, the perfect one, and Milt finally gets to do his husbandly job. He saws most of the tree and hands the blade to Sabrina who finishes the job. The tree falls with a satisfying thump.
Shaken and bundled, it is back home, to fight with the rickety stand and the lights and pray it doesn't topple over like it did one year.
Sure, I could buy a fake tree...but I'd miss all the fun!