Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Today Marty and I went on a Christmas Tree hunt. It was not like the Christmas Tree Hunts I remember from when I was a kid. Those hunts were fun! We always got a real tree, one we'd cut down ourselves, each of us taking a "token" swing with the axe. Ofcorse the cutting down of the tree, came at the end of the agonizing process that is a family a 5 coming to a concensus on the perfect tree. We'd head out as a family, into the "Deep Dark Forest," a heavily treed area on our property. The adventure would begin with us trudging through deep snow, listening to Nicole wine and complain, begging for someone to carry her, she used to hate hiking. We'd try to drown Nic out by singing obnoxiously loud, vulgar versions of Jingle Bells, eventually she'd join in, adding her own voice to the mix. When we got to the forest, the debate would begin...you know how it goes when 5 opiniated people try to agree on one thing. Some of us liked our trees tall, some liked short ones, some liked the branches evenly spaced, some didn't care. Some preferred thick trunks, some like a skinny ones, the list of criteria went on and on. Dad would diplomatically mark each potential tree with a ribbon, so we could come back and narrow down our choices. Eventually, we'd be sooo cold we'd just cut down the one we were closest to. Each of us would take a chop at the trun with the axe. It was a ceremonious chop, we all considered it a huge priviledge and a tradition! With renewed enthusiasm, we'd trudge back home, toes frozen, dragging the tree, our prize possession, by the trunk! We sang twice as loud all the way, excited to finally have the perfect tree!
There were times we'd take the horses out to the Deep Dark Forest, tie the tree to the saddle horn and drag it back home. There were times Dad would hide deep deep in the forest, only emerging when he was sure he could scare us enough to make us cry. There were times we'd argue over choosing the tree until there were tears, but every tree hunt ended with at least 5 swings of the axe and 5 giant smiles! Those Christmas Tree Hunts remain an awesome memory, one I will try to create for my own family one day. Today, the hunt with Marty was NOT one of those fun memories, though, it was an adventure. First of all, the fun factor started out low, as we were not hunting for a tree for ourselves, we were hunting for 4 trees for my school. This was a job, not a chosen adventure. I had actually volunteered to get the trees as I knew I was going to Walmart tonight. Marty, ever the good sport, volunteered to come with me. Walmart was all out of plain, 6 foot, 29 dollar Christmas Trees, BIG SURPRISE!!!! Next stop, Canadian Tire (we had to go there for a tail light anyway.) They had a huge selection of trees, but only fancy, expensive ones. The cheapest ones already had lights on them, lights or pinecones and berries. Like what? Nothing says "merry Christmas" like fake pinecones and berries hanging on from the fake branches of cheap, fake tree!!! No thanks!! Last stop, Superstore. Now, Superstore had a tonne of trees, all sizes, all kinds of berries, pinecones and lights and all kinds of colors, but not in the store. Ofcorse not, it couldn't be that easy! We had to go out to the "Garden Center" where there were hundreds of boxes of everything, all wrapped in shrink wrap all stacked 8 feet high, all without picture lables!!!! A disgruntled store manager helped us with our search and eventually, we found 4, six foot, pre lighted trees, halejulia!!!! Marty and I piled the trees into the van and trudged back home, I was the only one singing, obnoxiously loudly all the way home!
It is way too early to have a photo of this year's perfect tree, so I have posted a photo of Nic, Troy, Marty and I, infront of last year's tree. Nic and I had decided this should be an "open mouth" photo....you can tell Marty was new to the family....

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