Cutting down a Christmas tree has been a tradition in my family since I was young. I can remember going to a tree lot only a handful of times in my life. Bundling up in coats, hats and scarves and "braving" the frigid temperatures in search of the perfect evergreen is a highlight of our holiday celebrations! Of course, some years we were in short sleeve shirts and tromping through the mud, but the colder years are the quintessential memories I cherish most.
Preferably the tree is always cut from the same farm in Pennsylvania although we have been known to deviate from that location depending upon the circumstances. Although Scott grumbles each year about driving 2 hours for a tree, I know that he understands the sentimental value that the tree farm provides. Not necessarily an outdoors man, and certainly not somebody who enjoys schlepping through the woods and getting covered with tree sap and debris, even he has come to appreciate and enjoy the tradition.
This year, our family again piled into the car and headed to Pennsylvania. This year my Dad, who lives in Texas, was able to coincide a visit with a business trip in the area. To the delight of all of his his grandchildren, their beloved Candy Papaw was able to come to the Christmas tree farm.
Robby was practically giddy at the prospect of being able to cut down a tree like a lumberjack. His Paul Bunyan fantasies were slightly tempered when he realized that he had to use a saw instead of an ax. After emphatically informing me that an ax would be a better tool for the job, he begrudgingly took a saw and hopped onto the hayride destined for the tree fields.
After carefully evaluating his options, Robby chose a beautiful (and incredibly large) Christmas tree. After measuring to make sure it would fit (we ended up clearing the ceiling by two inches), the boys began to cut it down. Robby, insistent that he did not need help because he is "becoming a man" finally allowed his Daddy a turn with the saw. Thankfully Scott took full advantage of the brief window and made a rather deep cut in the trunk. If he hadn't, I'm fairly sure that my little man would still be in the field hacking away at the tree!
As soon as we brought the looming evergreen into the house Robby wanted to commence decorating. Wanting a tree that exuded Christmas spirit and was bright enough for Santa to see from his sleigh, Robby begged for me to put on every light strand we own. Caught up in the festivities, I agreed. An hour later we stepped back and turned on the tree.
My first thought after seeing the tree illuminated was "Holy Hell this is bright!" It turns out that 2,000 miniature LED lights can put off quite a bit of illumination. Mr. Bill actually called because he could see the tree shining brightly from his living room window! I went outside to evaluate the visibility of our tree to discover that the bottom portion of our driveway was illuminated with a beautiful montage of red, blue, green, yellow and purple. Our living room looks like a 1970's nightclub from the road.