Sunday, December 12, 2010

Finally, a Tree!

From the time I was responsible for selecting my own Christmas tree (I was first married at 19), I have obsessed each year over finding the most perfect tree. Sometimes I visited 10 tree lots before selecting just the right one. And you guessed it – often it was back at the first lot. No tradition of cutting down a tree in my family, because I must have a Noble fir and they don’t grow where I’ve lived.

Both my ex- and Larry (who has survived 27 Christmases with me) exhibited enormous patience with my Christmas tree obsession. Then came the year with two trees. Then the year with four! My obsession had grown. After about 10 years in California, we realized that we often bought the trees from the same family-owned lot, where we really like the people. Or had I just become more rationale? Then the lot disappeared. Now what? Back to 10 lots? Larry had his own solution.

We woke up to a rainy Saturday for tree shopping. Larry announced we were going to Home Depot for the tree. I refused. I swore. I pouted and sulked. I knew we’d never find the perfect tree there. But Larry was patient and ignored my behavior. He was prepared with gloves and tools so he could unfurl the trees for viewing – no waiting on busy clerks. And after about an hour of whining, I agreed to a tree. It was actually pretty nice.

The next year, same scenario, less sulking. I had to admit they had nice trees, and cheaper, too. This year we set a new record. After many errands, we arrived at Home Depot 10 minutes before closing. This was asking too much. It couldn’t be done. A perfect tree in under 10 minutes?

Over the years, Larry has developed the magic skill of tree selection. He cut the twine off a couple and there it was! The perfect tree! A Noble fir, 6 feet tall and full, but not very wide- perfect for our space.

I do miss the tree lots, but when life is so busy, sometimes you just have to let go. No more four-tree years for me. We did get to enjoy Isaac selecting his first tree this year at a tree lot. Matt clearly didn’t inherit my tree obsession. They looked at two trees, picked one and were done. Matt's never really been "into" Christmas trees - but maybe Isaac will be my protegee....


  1. What a n adorable pic of the baby! He is getting so big! I can't believe how fast he is growing.
    We finally broke down and did the fake tree... I'm not much of a Christmas person, and this one suits me fine. Every year it goes up the day after Thanksgiving. Before that though, we did the Home Depot too!

  2. Kim, I can't imagine having a fake tree - but who knows - I couldn't imagine Home Depot either. Or decorating the tree with all gold balls from Target instead of my hundreds of heirloom ornaments. But that's another story!

  3. Part of the family tradition this time of year. We have a fake tree on the count of the pets. Margot does get excited to decorate it each nonetheless!!