Weekend: Picking Out Our Christmas Tree

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12-9-13 picking out our tree

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well since I last posted. I took a bit of a hiatus last week to crank out a very exciting collaboration project with a friend and then recoup and rejuvenate post-Thanksgiving. Since it’s something I don’t do too often, I’ve been making a conscious effort to relax more (counterintuitive, right?), and the benefits are very rewarding. Sam and I  watched some movies, we ate out TWICE in one week, and I took some time to just read in bed before turning in for the night. I hope I can get used to this whole “relaxing” thing.

Still, exciting things are always happening: that’s what “everydaying” is all about. One of my favorite adventures of the past week was going to pick out and chop down our Christmas tree for this year!

12-9-13 sam and saw 12-9-13 baby trees

As an environmentalist and self-proclaimed “person who is aware of things,” I still struggle with the whole Christmas tree industry (especially when I see dozens of trees already chopped and waiting for homes in parking lots, because there’s no way all those trees find homes…and then what happens to them? Such waste). Most farms seem to be renewable and plant one for every one that is cut, which makes me feel better about the whole thing. We still opt for a live tree that we chop ourselves, and I get absolutely giddy when there’s the prospect of adding another life form into our little family (note: this only happens when the prospect includes plants, dogs, or chickens. No babies for now, please). After reading a few articles about real vs. fake trees last year–including this one–I do feel better about bringing a beautiful tree into our home for a month (or two).

Since as long as I can remember, we’ve been heading out to the same farm every year to select our tree from the “reject” trees left on a family friend’s tree farm. I like that we get to search for the diamond in the rough: a tree not good enough for commercial profit or sitting in a parking lot, but a wonderful match for our home. We embrace the imperfectness of the tree we choose, because nobody’s perfect.  My grandma, dad, mom, and my parents’ dog Lance were there picking out a tree for my parents’ house, too. It always ends up being a family affair, and I’m really glad Sam has let us continue this tradition with my family.

12-9-13 mom sam walking to trees 12-9-13 our tree

We found the tree without too much trouble, perhaps because it was the smallest one in the area. The idea of “wasting” any part of the tree by not cutting it off at the very bottom (a way to make a tall tree much shorter) doesn’t go over well in my book. So, finding a tree just tall enough for our home was an absolutely ideal solution, and that’s what happened!

The saw we use is a single-person saw that my grandpa adapted for two people some years back. I’m not sure how long it’s been in the family, but it definitely constitutes as an heirloom at this point. When I was younger, I was excited to find my “someone in the future” who would always work the other side of the saw during the tree-chopping ritual. I am so happy that I’ve got Sam on the other side (for the second year now!) to push when I pull and pull while I push. Dreams do come true, eh?

12-9-13 sam mo sawing

12-9-13 sawn-off trunk

12-9-13 sam mo grandmaAfter finding our tree, we helped my parents with their (much, much bigger) tree. And by this, I mean that I took some pictures while Sam and my dad did the dirty work of crawling around on the ground and sawing. The dog, Lance, did some watching with me.

12-9-13 mom and dads tree

12-9-13 sam and dad sawing

12-9-13 lance watching

12-9-13 sawing actionOur tree was small enough for me to carry (read: drag) back to the car by myself, but Sam and my dad double-teamed the big tree to get it wrapped and drilled for at home. It seems crazy to already cross this tradition off the list for 2013, but I guess I should get over that feeling now that it’s mid-December. Still, the snow and cold during our tree hunt made for a pristine and nostalgic scene, and my heart is glowing each day with holiday warmth and excitement.

Currently, our tree is donning its natural attire…and by that, I mean we’ve been so busy with “relaxing” that the ornaments and lights are still sitting in the box next to the tree. Sometimes I get a feeling that our tree is sad because it isn’t all decorated yet, but other times I look at it in all its perfectness as a naked Christmas tree and I like to think that it’s adjusting to its surroundings, still true to itself as an outdoor tree trying to figure out what it means to be a Christmas tree. We’ll know the time is right to decorate once the tree adjusts to life inside and it understands what it means to be a Christmas tree. It’s a big responsibility, you know.

12-9-13 got itIn other news, it continues snowing up here and we are eating a lot of soups and chili. Winter is here, and I am embracing it. Each season has something to share, and I’m ready to see what this one brings to our lives. I hope you do the same!

– m.s.

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