Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bah... Humbug!

I'm about to come clean. I don't like Christmas trees. I don't care to decorate them, I hate to clean up after them when I forget to water them, getting them is a chore and getting rid of them is an even bigger chore. Even though we get our trees from a place that does sustainable harvesting it still bothers me a little to kill a tree just to have as a pet. I used to be in the business of killing them so that somebody could have a house that would likely last a hundred years or more. The poor sap in our living room will be going up in flames sometime before Easter. Despite all this I'm about to go back in the house and be charmed by the one I just hauled in. The Missus will have all the lights strung and I'll get to look for a while before the 7.825 x 1045572937561923 hand made ornaments come out.

Every year we head out at the beginning of December to a farm up the road that does land office business in Christmas trees. You go out and pick one and a guy on a quad comes around and buzzes it off for you, then tows it back to the barn where you pay for it and they wrap it in netting so you can manage it. They also keep some in the barn that you can just pick up if you're in a hurry or don't want to drag your children all over the north country. Last year we went to the barn.

That was the plan this year but when we got there the only ones in there were a good deal shorter than me. So we headed off into the fields with our under-insulated children. Apparently it's a rebuilding year. It was seedlings and Charlie Browns all the way to the horizon.

A couple years ago we had read a book where a family named a tree in the yard "Steve". The last two years we've called our tree that and as the twilight descended we plodded on calling out for the next Steve to show himself. Miss O was sure we had found him a couple times but by the half dead look of them, there was no way we were bringing those guys home with us.

We finally settled on one and the rest of the fam started to trudge back. (Not that one, the good one next to it!) Well, the guy came and whacked it for me and it took both of us to get it on the cart. This years nameless tree weighed in at somewhere around 200 pounds and was close to nine feet tall if I'm any judge.

It was all I could do to wrestle that guy into the shop to defrost. I popped the straps and he made a jump for it from the top of the minivan. Like Atlas I bore him up on my shoulders and traversed the snowy wastes. His stump lay blocking the door and his tip lay somewhere near Wal-Mart in the next town.

Fast forward through several hours of cranky children and it was time to rejoin the battle. Fortified with a wee dram of Maker's Mark (which is really the only bourbon to drink this side of $120 a bottle) I made my way back to the shop and fired up the chain saw. (It's the battery operated Ryobi model for those of you wondering about the fumes). I trimmed off nearly three feet and over fifty pounds and it was still all I could do to drag that guy in the front door.

In the stand, stood up and sprung from the netting he stood proudly in the spot once occupied by the TV... one and a half inches from the ceiling. The Missus expressed her amazement which helped a little. I guess I haven't lost my touch with wood.

Now it's time to hit "post" and go in the house to sit quietly with my gal and take in the pine scented wonder of it all with just the tree lights on. Maybe just another quick nip to make sure I got all the humbug out.


Pamela said...

I haven't lost my touch with the wood. That's what she said.

Uncle Benna said...

I was so gonna say that. You stole my comment!

I miss that smell... I thought about buying a pine scented candle, but they aren't quite the same. Stupid fake tress.