Our Christmas Tree Gathering Tradition Part 2
Well, we did it! We bundled up and loaded into my husband's truck to seek out the perfect tree. My husband, John, kept asking me where I wanted to go. Well of course I wanted to go to the farm we'd been to before in Bostwick, GA. In all honesty, they don't have the Douglas Fir trees there to cut down. Douglas Firs are fragrant and from what I understand, not as messy. As a bonus, they aren't prickly. That's especially important when two of my dwarfs are under 5 and can't keep their hands off the tree. Even though they don't have the Douglas Firs to cut, they sell them straight from NC and they are BEAUTIFUL. Plus, as a bonus, my kids can see all the other people cutting down trees and we would have a chance to drive through the farm looking at all the trees. He didn't like my answer. I could tell. He didn't object out loud. He just made other suggestions. I let him lead the way and we ventured to some local places selling the Douglas Fir trees.
The first place we went was a nursery less than five miles from our house. They had about twenty-five trees. They weren't bad. They were reasonably priced. The guy was wonderfully helpful. I wanted to support this local business. But, those trees just weren't speaking to me. We picked a fall back tree, got back in the truck, and decided to continue searching.
We drove down the Atlanta Highway (I love saying that... I bust out in a verse of "Love Shack" everytime!). We found our local high school selling Douglas Firs. I would feel great about helping the school. We unloaded and looked. The trees were extremely unreasonably priced. They were about double the cost of the trees at the nursery. Even worse, they were puny, dry, and unappealing. Reload!
Right across the street, (Yep, on the Atlanta Highway), we found the place. Trees, reasonably priced, and decent looking. John spotted, "The tree", and guarded it while I checked to make sure there wasn't one I loved more. We decided on it. The nice man working there took a picture of us with it (see pic), they netted it, threw it in the back of the truck, and we were off... almost! They had this huge pile of trimmings from the tree. They were giving them away. They said help yourself. I did. Woo hoo... free trimmings to decorate with. I know most places that sell Christmas trees (even Home Depot and Lowes) are more than willing to give you their scraps. It's a great cheap way to decorate and if you choose an artificial tree, it brings the great smells of Christmas into your house. What are you waiting for? Go get some! We were loaded down and were off!
John has a Zaxby's addiction. The girls and I prefer Chick fil A. We rarely go to KFC or Bojangles. I never make fried chicken. I honestly don't fry food. It stinks up your house and makes a mess. Plus, I'm not a fan of greasy food. Well, in an effort to do something different for our tree gathering days, we've been going and getting fried chicken after getting our tree. We did it again this year. For the first time, we went to Bojangles instead of KFC. It was okay but not my thing. I may just try changing this tradition next year. None of us loved it. I did like not having to cook dinner though!
After our "boxed meal" John got the tree in. We struggled to get our ten foot tree in the stand, but we did it!
We put on the Polar Express, made hot chocolate and popcorn for the girls and we had a netting cutting ceremony. Not really but John did cut the net off. The lights were hung haphazardly. Really, that's how John does them. He just wraps them, tucks them, just whatever he can to get them up as soon as possible and then he retired. Funny, the lights were up in less than ten minutes.
My Dad is a perfectionist and spends hours getting the lights on, perfectly spaced, and hiding the wires. They look so... much better when he does it but, I'm not taking the time to do it and John certainly doesn't have the patience, so messy lights we have. I was left to hang the ornaments. Voila... the tree was finished. Well, not really... my dwarfs were removing ornaments almost as fast as I was hanging them... oh well... I was done. Here's our finished tree.
We got a live one, ate fried chicken, watched Polar Express with hot chocolate and popcorn, decorated the tree, and had another great year of our own family traditions. Our tree will remain the fifth member of our family through most of December. Then we'll continue to vacuum up his needles until we get another tree next December.