Ever since our kids were little, getting a Christmas tree has been a big deal. We would meet my in-laws at a tree farm halfway between our towns, spend the morning tromping through the rows of evergreens looking for the perfect tree, and head back to their house for lunch and setting up their tree. Then we’d take ours home. It was a full day adventure, and something we’d look forward to every year.
This year, however, we moved to a new town an hour or so further away, and the joint tree hunt just wasn’t practical. But we still needed a tree. So last Sunday, the DH and I piled the two younger kids in the truck and set off on a tree buying adventure.
The first challenge? Finding a tree farm. Though we lived in this area years ago, we weren’t familiar with the current state of the local Christmas tree industry. A quick perusal of the internet found one not too far away, so we took the long, winding, backroads trek to the address on the website.
On first glance, it looked promising. There was a huge barn with tables of hot beverages and treats for after the tree hunt, a big carriage with bales of hay to sit on pulled by two draft horses in jingle bell tack, friendly proprietors offering suggestions for types of trees and saws to cut them down.
We jumped on the horse-drawn carriage and headed out into the tree farm, the driver singing Christmas carols and letting the kids ride on the front bench with him. About five minutes into the drive, he pulled the horses to a stop and announced we were in the Noble fir section, “on both sides of the trail here”. We could find a tree, cut it down, and he’d be back in fifteen minutes to pick us up again.
Off he went, bells jingling, and we looked around. It was a bare, empty field, ringed by old-growth evergreens, in both directions. There were no actual Christmas trees to be found.
“We’ve been marooned,” GPS announced, as we tromped over the hill. Ahead, there were clumps of trees here and there, no rhyme or reason to the set up, and none of them looked anything like the kind of tree we’d want to take home and decorate.
Where were the rows of trees, all about the same height? Where was the selection, the options? Where were the actual Christmas trees?
Frustrated, we decided not to wait for our ride to come back, and instead trudged back through the empty, blackberry-vine-choked fields to the barn. The proprietor had mentioned earlier that there was a field of Grand Pines on the other side of the farm, so we gave it one last shot.
All the trees were about waist-high.
I returned the saw, we piled back in the truck, and drove into town for lunch at the local grocery store/deli.
There were pre-cut trees outside the entrance. After lunch, we checked them out, found the perfect tree, bought it, and tossed it in the back of the truck. It took all of ten minutes.
It may not have been the fun, family-time activity we’d grown used to, but sometimes you just have to roll with it.