Choosing the Right Christmas Tree

Denisa and I have used a fake tree for . . . pretty much our whole marriage? Can I admit that in Maine without getting lumberjacked in the middle of the night? We received a very nice one as a gift back when we were first married, and we’ve been using it ever since. It’s just seemed easier to go down to the basement and haul it out each year. But over the years, it’s gotten older and older. Strings of lights are harder to jury rig back to working order, and last year I never could get one strand to function.

15 years will do that to a thing.

So this year, we decided to go with a live tree. (Well, a “recently deceased” tree, at least.) And yesterday was the big day. We went out with some friends who showed us the ropes of selecting a live tree and cutting it down with a saw. Which doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult, but was still very nice to have some help in the process.

Of course, presented with about 1,000 more or less identical trees, I go into decision-lock mode, unable to make a final selection with anything resembling confidence. (Do the trees have user reviews I could check out, perhaps? Reliability ratings? What do those brown needles in that one spot mean? Is it good or bad to have pinecone residue? Maybe there’s a website on this that I could check . . .)

Really, if it weren’t for the fact that our friends were there (tree long since selected), staring in wonder that two grown adults could have so much trouble picking one single tree that would only wither and die over the course of a month anyway, I think I’d still be out there, wandering among the tree rows, trying to remember which of them all were my top 5 choices, and wondering where my children had scurried off to.

But peer pressure saved the day, and the selection was made at last. We had the tree shaker thingy shake all the tree bits off it, bagged it in that plastic stuff, and tied it to the roof of our car. Then came the exciting drive home (did we tie it down enough? Would that twine hold? If I braked fast enough, could I weaponize the tree?)

We usually put the tree in our living room, but it had all of MC’s toys in its spot, so I hauled all those toys and dumped them in my room in one big pile. (It was that sort of day.) And now the tree’s up and happily standing in our house. Better yet, I didn’t have to get the old tree out from the basement, which is usually a real pain in the back. So that’s nice.

It certainly smells better too.

All in all, a fun adventure for the day. I think we might do it again next year.

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