Monday, December 10, 2007

A Tree Grows at Christmas

You may remember last year’s Christmas tree calamity, as it took us the better part of the day and the best part of a hundred bucks to come home with a sawed off sapling that had no hope of surviving until the new year. That year, we had plans of going out to the farm and cutting one down, and those plans carried forward to this year, as the calendar clearly declared that today was the day to chop down a perfectly good tree for the sake of tradition and holiday cheer.

However, a host of situations drew together to smite those plans, yet again damaging the reputation of a perfectly good tradition, one we’re desperate to cling to. Kara’s knee was a big factor, that and it rained, so she couldn’t exactly see herself tromping around in the mud and dirt searching for the perfectly festive foliage. Frankly, I didn’t care. Getting a tree at a lot is much easier for me, and as much as I enjoy playing lumberjack, I was looking for an easy way out today.

We went to Target. I know, we’re certain now that our final destination is hell, but at least we didn’t end up at Wal-Mart and I was adamant about not giving my money to the toothless trolls at the tree lots who only trek down from their wooded lairs with the other mountain people to sell all us city-folk overpriced Christmas trees.

I’m not sure if it was apathy, lethargy or just plain indifference that guided our surprisingly efficient trip out to get a tree this year, but I was determined not to make an all-day experience out of this. I still had to brave the attic and retrieve the many boxes that contained the materialisms of Christmas, and I promised myself I would take care of some work before the weekend was up.

A couple of weeks ago, Kara was pretty sure—almost insistent—that a Noble fir would grace our living room this year, so I steeled myself to shell out the big bucks, but my wallet unpuckered a little when we decided that Target would earn our tree business this year and it even let out a sigh when Kara changed her mind and headed toward the Douglas firs, the bourgeoisie of Christmas trees.

Target is very unceremonious in presenting the splendor of their trees, as they’re organized in wire enclosures and stacked against the walls like trussed up bodies in a morgue, all wrapped in the wire mesh used for transport. I didn’t feel like digging into a bunch of trees, unwrapping them and standing there while Kara gives it a good going over, looking for needle staying power; imperfections like flat spots, gaping holes, broken branches; or small rodents, perhaps. I dislike the process, much like looking for a mutt at the pound. So, I grabbed the first one I saw in the 7-8-foot area. It was unfurrowed like a green umbrella and it was ready to go.

“How about this one?” I was half joking, well prepared to relegate myself to palms of sap and bristling needles in my face as I scoured through dozens of wrapped up Christmas trees. But I was surprised. Kara shrugged and started to say, “I don’t care,” but I cut her off with a “Me neither.”

Meanwhile, below us, Natalie grabs two big armfuls of the branches and announces, “I love this tree. Are we going to get this one?”

The deal was sealed, and it has to be the first time in the history of my family that we bought the first one we saw the first time we saw it. Usually we buy the first one we saw only after looking at each and every other one before coming back to the first one. This time, I only touched one tree, the one we bought. It was $35.00, and came with a $5.00 gift card for doing absolutely nothing, and we were back in the truck after a total of 10 minutes.

A new family record.

Beat that!

1 comment:

Clint said...

Ryan - Thanks for the inspiration. We went to Target today and grabbed the first, already untwined 6-7 ft tree we saw. Not quite as sporty as the guy taking home a fully twined tree, only to wait until he was home to find out the quality of tree he bought. Maybe next year we'll play Christmas Tree Roulette.

Merry Christmas


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