The Tree Hunters

Finding a tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas, and this is one of my favorite memories of our family’s tree tradition.
Repost from an old blog…

My family has built many traditions around our family Christmas Tree.  It is always decorated while listening to Mariah Carey‘s “Merry Christmas” album.  Dad always gets tangled in the lights and ends up breaking one strand before successfully lighting the tree.  We all have specific ornaments that we hang every year.  None of these things can happen without the tradition of going to get the tree. Every year Dad and I journey to McCurdy’s Tree Farm to find the perfect tree.  We arrive, pick out a saw, and hop onto the hayride that takes you to the various types of trees.  We get a cup of hot chocolate, then trek over to the Douglas Fir trees, walk around until I’ve found it.  It is perfectly proportioned, has no dead spots, an ample trunk, springy branches, the right width, and it’s (inevitably) too tall for our living room.  Dad cuts it down and drags it back to the hot chocolate stand where we warm ourselves up with another cup of cocoa and a hot dog.  (This process has been known to take hours in the past.)  Finally, we get back on the hay ride to go pay for the tree before I sucker Dad into buying yet another Christmas c.d.  This year, as we were getting ready to start our journey, Bug came around the corner already dressed in her snowsuit, looked at us with her big brown eyes, and asked, “Can I go tree hunting with you?”  We hadn’t thought of taking her with us because the poor little bug had been suffering from a cold, but it was like trying to say no to Cindy Loo Who dressed as a purple marshmallow.  We caved, and packed her up in the car.

We had to wait for the third hayride.  She didn’t want to ride on the blue or orange tractors.  She wanted to ride on the great big red tractor, because it was the best.   As Mrs. McCurdy waived us off and said to have a merry Christmas, Bug eagerly replied “Oh, we will!” This, of course, brought laughter from everyone, including Mrs. McCurdy (who looks a bit like how I always imagined Mrs. Claus to look).  We got hot chocolate, which was quickly stated to be the best hot chocolate in the entire world, (she doesn’t get much chocolate…) and then started walking towards the Douglas Firs.  While searching for the tree, she followed me to every one.  Finally, we had to choose between two: one I liked, and one Dad liked.  Bug looked between the two of us and stated, “Daddy, don’t you know Amber’s tree is the one we should take?!  She says it’s prettier, and I believe her.”  Well, that was that.  Dad cut down the tree, and we headed back towards the hot cocoa stand.

While eating our hot dogs and drinking our cocoa Bug saw the giant tube slide, a new addition to the tree farm this year.  She looked at me and asked, “Amber, is that slide for little boys and girls?”  When I told her it was, she batted her eyelashesat me.  I’m not talking about blinking a couple of times.  I’m talking about actually batting her eyelashes in the way that has gotten women exactly what the want for centuries.  Then she says, “Well, I’m a little girl.”  I proceeded to take her down the slide four times before we were ready to take the hayride back and pay for our tree.

We rode the hayride with the blue tractor back to the office and gift shop, since apparently “Red takes you places, but Blue always takes you home.”  This statement was accompanied by enthusiastic nodding, so it must be true.  Dad paid for the tree, tied it to the car, and we all headed home.  Coming from the backseat we heard a very faint, “This was the best Tree Hunt ever.”

I completely agree.

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