Friday afternoon we headed out to hunt down our Christmas tree. I knew we were in for something different than what we were used to in Washington. Back home we have a lot of tree farms fairly close by, the trees look just like they do on the Christmas cards (firs mostly, but with lots of other species as well). Down here mostly you have Pine. Pine are a good tree. Nothing against them. I’m sure they are great for something. Unfortunately they don’t make a terribly great Christmas tree. As an example look at this tree:
This is NOT the ugliest tree we could find. I would say it was actually in the upper end of the bell curve. The problems are many:
- sort of yellow in color
- crooked trunks
- low density (you can see clear through them)
- long wimpy needles
- weak branches that don’t hold much up
There were also some non-tree-related problems:
- It was 81 degrees for goodness sake
- There were ant hills all over the place (no bites thank goodness)
- Giant spiders. Trust me. Eye level on webs stretched across the rows.
We did manage to find a tree. Mat, Becca and Elliott who came with us (and visited the same tree farm last year) couldn’t bring themselves to commit to one of these trees. We were pretty determined to “go native” and get a Christmas tree like true Texans. Turns out true Texans go to the Home Depot parking lot and buy a tree shipped down from Oregon. We’d heard these trees were really expensive. “Oh my goodness they cost $100…$150…$200″. Turns out they cost about $5 more than we paid. Counting the gas driving the hour and twenty minutes to Smithville and we didn’t break even.
On the way home we were rewarded, however, with a gorgeous sunset. It was a huge red sun setting over the plain. Amber and I were both reminded of the pictures we’ve all seen of a giant sun setting over the African savanna. If you squinted the cows could pass for elephants. Maybe not.
At home we put up the tree and Wesley helped put up the lights and ornaments. We had a few magical moments talking about how pretty the tree was. He really likes it and he is doing better than I had expected keeping his hands off. Not perfect, but it could be worse. He likes it well enough that he keeps asking for more trees. He doesn’t care where we put them he just wants more trees with lights indoors.
Despite its shortcomings I glad we went out and cut our own local tree. It has lots of unique character and we all like it just the way it is.