Sunday evening, Dec. 2, 2012 — It’s comin’ on Christmas

Like Joni sang:  “It’s comin’ on Christmas; they’re choppin’ down trees. . .”

The 2011 Larson Family Christmas tree
The 2011 Larson Family Christmas tree

We went out this morning to cut down the Larson family Christmas tree.  Gunlor Pines has been providing us with our tree for over 20 years.  And so it was with hot chocolate, blankets and many layers of winter clothes that we headed off kind of early this morning with visions of the perfect tree leading us on.

Alas, we got to Gunlor only to find out it was closed.  And then, double alas, we found out it had been sold!  My daughter-in-law managed to contact the former owners who kindly told her that the place was closed on Sundays, but we could call and make an appointment for the next weekend.  (Saturday only.)  While we were there another vehicle pulled up — that made 3 of us wanting trees.  So, Jenn contacted the new owners, but they weren’t interested in coming to open up.

I’m thinking their little tree farm venture isn’t going to last too long. Ah, but I digress.

The kids did an internet search and found out there is another tree farm about 2 hours south of Edmonton.  They considered going, but it was getting late.  Tim and I had tickets for the Vinyl Cafe Christmas show, so there was no way we could go.  We had sadly accepted the reality that there would be no freshly cut nine-footer this year.  (In truth, I wasn’t all that sad.  And while I’m talking truth I have to admit that I’d much rather have a multi-coloured pre-lit artificial tree that is only about 7 ft tall.  It would make my life much easier.)

And so it has been decided that next weekend it’s Gunlor on Saturday, or the new place on Sunday.  Whichever it is I probably won’t be going.  We’ve got family coming for the weekend so I’ve got cooking and entertaining to take care of.  However it plays out come next weekend we’ll have our tree.  I’ll play Joni Mitchell while we bring it in the house and then I’ll put on It’s a Wonderful Life while I shred my fingertips as I string the lights.

Though I wish I had a fake tree I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I do love the smell of a real tree, and, that once it’s up and decorated it truly is a special thing and something that helps get me in the Christmas spirit.  It takes me back to trees past and all the memories hung upon countless branches.

Every year I go to the fancy greenhouses and take in all the beautiful Christmas displays with the designer trees in all their fashionable colours.  There are blue trees, copper trees, pink trees, red trees and silver trees.  Black trees, gold trees, sparkly trees.  And, yes, even green trees.  Besides all the colours there are different shapes and sizes.  Two-footers through to 12 foot giants.  Fat, full branched ones and skinny, one-sided trees.  Trees that will fit in corners and trees that hang upside down.  (I don’t like the upside down trees, they look so odd!)

I always aspire to change my tree decorating habits; I envisage a glittering masterpiece of red and gold, feathers and velvet streamers.  Something worthy of gracing the pages of Martha Stewart Living or House & Home.  But, in the end I turn away from those glimmering decorations and turn to my boxes of treasured ornaments, the ones I’ve spent my lifetime collecting.  They’re what really makes me smile.  And as I hang each shiny bauble, each hand-crafted paper ornament that my son made, or each ornament collected on holiday I’m reminded that our tree is history of us.

When my grandkids come over I love to point out this one or that one and tell them a little story about how it came to be.  I’ve started adding the ones they make now and try not to think to far ahead into the future when perhaps I’ll be adding ornaments from great-grandchildren.

In the end, I suppose, it doesn’t matter whether the tree is real or fake.  What matters is what you make of it.


7 thoughts on “Sunday evening, Dec. 2, 2012 — It’s comin’ on Christmas

  1. We have started our tradition of real trees (this will be the third year now) and for right now I love it. I think it’s nice when the kids are small. We will probably go back to a fake sometime in the future but for now I love the real ones. The smell makes me smile and think of Christmas’s past, and all the fun we used to have. I want to pass on some of that history, so like yours, our Christmas tree is laden with homemade ornaments along with some rather nice ones as well. Every year I think I am going to make it a masterpiece and forego the ornaments I have and go out and buy all matching and the latest trend. Then I think better of it and we put up what I have collected over the many years before Dave and the kids when I was living with Tracey,and of course the stuff I have collected with them. It always looks like the most beautiful tree when I’m done. (at least at the very first step back and look) The kids always think it is beautiful, and that’s what really matters the most. The magic a Christmas tree can bring to a child. It isn’t quite Christmas until the tree goes up! Ours will be going up this week, it is just thawing and filling out, getting its branches ready to be adorned with lights and tinsle and all the glory I have in my Christmas boxes.

  2. …..small, multicoloured, and pre-lit…..I can see all that quite clearly in my future. I love it when it’s done, but hate all the fuss involved. You’re so right – the history of the special ornaments is indeed a delight.

  3. Thanks Lin — as I’ve gotten older and a little wiser I’ve come to realize that Christmas isn’t so much about the trappings — it’s about enjoying it for what it is — a time of love, joy, family and memories — and of course spiced rum and eggnog!

  4. Your last 2 lines say it all . . . we have a small artificial tree decorated with all our favorite ornaments.

    But the smell of fresh trees is so lovely.

  5. Did you know that you can now buy scented ‘icicles’ that you hang on your artificial tree that make it smell like the real thing? I swear I saw them with my own two eyes! Thought it was kind of cool, actually.

  6. I don’t think it matters whether the tree is real or fake either. It matters if the Christmas spirit is real or fake/forced with begrudgment at the expense of the season.

    True Christmas spirit is flourishing, I think, in small ways all over the place.

    (nice tree! 🙂 )

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