Thursday, December 15, 2011

"All I want for Christmas . . . "

The lobbying began before Thanksgiving, complete with song: 

            “All I want for Christmas is a real Christmas tree,
            A real Christmas tree, oh, a real Christmas tree.”

I think you know the tune.

The mighty woodsman chopping down
our Christmas tree.
Several years ago we had a lean Christmas, and decided that instead of spending scarce funds on a store-bought tree, we would cut a tree from our land.

Mind you, Christmas trees in the traditional sense do not grow on our land. We have Ashe junipers. Because they tend to grow in thickets, they are shaped by their quest for the sun: thinly branched and leaved, usually lopsided, with very long lower branches. When brought into the house, some might consider them . . . ugly.

In my eye, once one is hung with ornaments (some handmade, some sentimental favorites), strung with small white and multi-colored lights, swaddled in the tree skirt I crocheted early in our marriage, and topped with the angel Dan and I bought our first Christmas, it becomes beautiful. It is a cheerful symbol of the love in our family.

Once we broke that tradition of visiting the Christmas tree lot, wandering among the lovely evergreens, then dropping $75 on a tree that would die within a month, it was hard to go back. In prior posts, we have established that I am a cheapskate.

More importantly, it feels more Christmas-like to walk out the door and wander our land in search of the perfect – well, somewhat perfect – tree, cut it down, drag it to the house, wedge it into the tree stand, and decorate it. It looks like the appropriate tree for our house. It feels homey. It feels right.

My daughter yearns to hang ornaments on those thick evergreen branches once more. To her, our spindly cedar trees aren’t green enough, thick enough, or lush enough to qualify as perfect Christmas trees. As I write this, I feel a twinge of sympathy for her and her vision of Christmas. Maybe next year we will give in and go find that perfect tree at a lot. 

But when she’s grown with her own family, I hope she will fondly remember those years when we put on coats, grabbed the chainsaw and headed for the woods to choose a Christmas tree. 


  1. I love your tree. How fun to be able to get it from your own land.
    I bet when your daughter is grown, and has children of her own, she'll tell them of these years. And, she'll tell them how wonderful it was.

  2. I dunno, I'm 10 now, and still don't see the point in cutting down a Christmas tree off our property. There goes my identity. we will see. we will see.