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