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The Perfect Tree

December 1, 2009

Every year, Chris and I go a-questing for the Perfect Christmas Tree.

Truth be told, I am the instigator of this quest, as Chris is dragged along, probably secretly dreaming of the Perfect Bike Ride. The search for the Perfect Tree can throw me into a frenzy of eyeballing, shaking, and stroking any tree that might be The One. This search can take hours, beginning with selecting the Perfect Tree Farm, because, yes, we cut our own fresh tree. For those of you that are silently gasping at the waste of a good tree, let me assure you that the farms we go to cut high enough on the trunk that the tree regenerates itself.

One year, I insisted on a Silvertip Tree. The lovely Silvertip has nice sturdy branches, that are well spaced, allowing room for our collection of ornaments. Unfortunately, in a warm clime such as California, Silvertip are prone to aphids. The aphid secretly coupled in the elegantly decorated tree, until masses of insects started falling off, crystalized in hardened drops of sap. No more Silvertips for us.

The following year I decided only a Balsam Fir would do. Balsam Firs do grow in California. Waaaaay high up in the mountains. Hours of driving later, near to dusk, we finally found the Perfect Tree Farm that grew Balsam Firs. Chris, who had done the driving, took on a distinctly Scrooge-like appearance, insisting that I find the Perfect Tree before the sun fully set, so that we could be home before midnight. Needless to say, that was the first and last year we bought a Balsam Fir.

Two years ago we purchased a White Fir, seduced by a discount coupon that came in the mail. Apparently, many other budget minded people were seduced as well, and by the second year, few perfect trees were left, and those were marked up considerably. Exhausted from hours of searching in the chill rain, and fearing that the Scrooge would be a permanent addition to Chris’s personality, I selected a Not Perfect Tree. After bringing it home, the tree leaned drunkenly in the stand, and refused to look symmetrical regardless of which way it was turned. It also vengefully began dropping needles shortly after being decorated, ignorant of the honor bestowed upon it.

This year we tried a new Perfect Tree Farm. The back entrance was right next to Amalie’s favorite Apple Farm, and we planned on letting her go on a pony ride and eat donuts after selecting the Perfect Tree.

The morning dawned crisp and clear. We packed into the SUV and drove up to the Perfect Tree Farm. After being directed into the correct stand of White Firs, we began the search, Amalie riding high on Chris’s shoulders.

“How about this one?” I suggested, thrilled that I found The Perfect Tree so soon. “Mmmm, maybe. Let’s keep looking.” suggested Chris, not quite ready to choose one. “This one?” he said, pointing to another. “No, it’s too bushy.” I replied. “This one?”, he said, but no that one wasn’t right either. “Over there! Go over there!” shouted Amalie, getting into the game. Hours later, Chris had disappeared, and the Scrooge was back. Perhaps having a four-year old riding on your shoulders and dictating where you must go wasn’t all that much fun! Finally, we all agreed on The Perfect Tree. A nice tree cutter cut it down for us.

Then it was up to the Scrooge to get it tied down to the roof of the SUV. Sadly, the Scrooge struggles with the art of tree tying every year, and this year was no exception. Giving even the orignal Ebeneezer Scrooge a run for his money in the grumpiness department, Chris declared the tree firmly tied down. Amalie enjoyed her pony ride and an apple donut for lunch, as it was much too late to get her home for a healthy lunch. The rest of the day and the next morning, my mom, Amalie and I decorated the Perfect Tree, the Scrooge beating a hasty retreat for a mood enhancing bike ride.

That evening as we sat by a roaring fire, Chris declared that it was indeed, the Perfect Tree.

Next year I’m going plastic.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 3, 2009 8:17 pm

    We’ve been an artificial tree family for a few years now. They make some really nice ones that have molded ends on the branches. It’s hard to tell that they’re not real. Congratualtions on finding a beautiful tree 🙂

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