Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting the Christmas Tree

   From the time I was 5 years old I have been involved in getting a Christmas tree.   In my childhood we lived on a farm and the ritual was to go out into our own or with permission a neighbors woods and cut down a tree.   These were trees that could be pretty ugly.   No maintenance or trimming like the Christmas Tree farms of our modern era.   I especially remember a cedar tree one year that would match a Charlie Brown tree by orders of magnitude.   During WWII due to the war effort new lights were a rarity and early on I learned to cut and splice series strings of lights to reduce the rate of burn out of the bulbs.

    After marriage and the arrival of a family of my own the ritual became a trip to a tree farm and cutting the tree we selected.   Often this meant bundling up the children for the journey and many a trek through the tree farm to get the best one.   Usually we returned to the tree nearest our starting point as the best choice.  Then came the challenge of schlepping the tree to the car and fastening it to the roof.   This ritual went on through my two families and with the baby of the family arriving in 1985 the ritual kept going on for another 18 years.  However, the tree adventure became one of Nancy, Viki and me.   

    In recent years the Moore Tree Farm of Lansing, New York has become our tree supplier of choice.  Excellent products and great service.   However, in my geezerhood there are no children at home to join the Christmas tree search and Nancy has bowed out as well.    So I am left to making this journey on my own.   Yesterday was my day to visit the Moore Tree Farm and select the tree "with soft needles" and fitting for our high ceiling living room.   For the past several years I have avoided the trek into the plantation to cut my own.  I am now satisfied to select on of the pre-cut trees and have the attendants shake, wrap and carry it for me.   Perhaps that is another way you can tell you've become a geezer.

    I have carried the beautiful Fraser Fir tree home and wrestled it in place on the tree stand.  The lights and decorations have just been installed and it beautifies our living space.   Nancy and I, however are having the discussion about next year's tree.   We are seriously considering getting an artificial tree when they go on sale after Christmas.    I never thought that I would ever think that would be a good idea, but certainly that could be an advantage.  No mess, no fuss, and probably more economical in the long run.   With the price of today's natural tree over $60 it may be time to make a change.   Then my getting the tree ritual will simply be going to the storage room in the basement and carrying the box up stairs.    Conserving energy to go to the ski slopes sounds like a good idea to me.

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