Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Tannenbaum

We got our tree!  I made the mistake of telling the boys our Saturday plans before they went to bed the night before:  "We're going to wake up, eat pancakes, put on our hat and gloves (Jack really likes to wear his hat and gloves), drive to the farm and pick out a Christmas tree!  Then we're going to saw it down, tie it to the top of the car, drive home, put it up in the living room and decorate it with lights and ornaments."  Jack kept nodding his head and saying "Yeah, yeah" and Jude just smiled and did that little hands-straight-out-toes-pointed-like-he-just-got-electrocuted thing he does when he gets really excited.  And he must have been really excited because he was up before 6am on Saturday.  We snuggled him in bed between us, but instead of falling back to sleep like he usually does he just kept giggling and scratching my face. 

Pancakes by Daddy.

After 20 minutes I decided maybe I could nurse him back sleep.  So I did, and carefully laid him beside me and just laid my head down on the pillow myself and "Wham" like lightening - arms-straight-out-toes-pointed and then kick, kick, kick ... smack, smack, smack.  Followed by that baby heavy-breathing/panting noise, then more giggles and gurgles.  Then Jack joined in from the next room over "Mom?  Mooommmm!!"

Oh he knows something good is about to happen!

Someday, I'll get to sleep in.  Someday.  Of course, by that time I will be the one trying to get my boys up in the morning.  And I'll look back on these days and wish for them back.  But for now, getting my boys up and to the breakfast table is a piece of cake.  Getting everyone out the door at a decent hour is another story.  Which is why we left for the tree farm a few hours later than anticipated.

Emotions were running a bit high that morning.

Earlier in the week I had researched some local tree farms on  We wanted a real farm, with trees that we could cut down, and somewhere within a reasonable driving distance since we were trying to fit this outing in amongst naps and lunch.  We settled on one 30 minutes away because it had a nice, updated website with a pretty picture of a idyllic farmstead. 

Cold but ready to go!
It was a bit of a drive, but as soon as we got out of the suburbs it was worth it.  Jon and I ooo'd and aww'd over a few lovely farmhouses, we passed by two Amish farmer's markets that were calling my name, and drove on by a half dozen fresh-cut tree stands until we ended up down a tree-lined dirt lane that bordered a small tree field.  It didn't look the same as the one in the Internet picture so I thought surely there were more fields in the back.  There weren't. 

Starting our with a fervor.

Jack was more interested in the dead pine needles than in finding the perfect tree.
Not only was it a small field, but over half the trees were just little babies.  Of the remaining half, 2/3 were already tagged.  And of the remaining 1/3 ... well, nothing seemed to work.  We tried, we really tried.  We even used our imagination.  Holes can be hidden with big ornaments.  Yellow needles can be covered with bright white lights.  I even consented to going with a shorter, smaller tree.  And before we parked the car I had already agreed to be open to all tree types, not just my all time favorite - fraser fir. 


We challenged ourselves to find that "diamond in the rough."  I envisioned discovering a tree in the way back corner that no one else wanted, lovingly choosing it to be a part of our family for the holidays, setting it up in our house and turning it into the best tree in town - you know, the stuff children's books are made of. Well none of this mattered.  We literally couldn't find a single one that we could be happy with. 


In the end, we trudged back to the barn, handed the saw back to the owners, glanced over the rows and rows of pre-cut trees just arrived fresh from Pennsylvania, had the tree-boy hold a few up and give us the full 360 slow-mo spin, and found ourselves the most perfect (but not too perfect) Fraser, that ended up costing about 3 times as much as it would if we had just cut one down with my parents and drove it home last week.

I comfort myself with the knowledge that even though we didn't get the full experience, we at least contributed to a small, local farm ... and threw a bit back into Pennsylvania's economy as well.
And that my friends, is tradition.  The give and take, the pull and push, of what we envision something to be, what it really ends up being, and then what we choose to remember it as.  It was a lovely day with my 3 boys.  And Jon and I both agree, this tree is our favorite one yet!



Mauby said...

Ok. How in the world do you have packages under your tree and still wrapped with a toddler? Did you put those there just to take a picture during nap time? :D

J9 said...

Haha, well he's already opened 3, but I think we've finally got the message across that he can't touch them anymore! :)

JSS said...

very lovely tree! I'm still brainstorming the Caribbean Christmas decor here...

Anonymous said...

The tree is gorgeous!

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