Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Where have all the Christmas trees gone? Have you noticed a mysterious lack of Christmas tree lots in recent years? Having grown up in Midwest suburbia, we couldn't just go out onto the back 40 (acres that is), chop down a tree and pull it home on the sled. We would have to load up the Dodge or Honda, go down to the Safeway parking lot, and walk through rows and rows of Christmas trees to find the perfect size and shape. Then the challenge was to figure out how to strap it on top of the car or shove it into the trunk for the drive home. Boy Scout troops, the local Optimist Club - they all had Christmas Tree lots to raise money for special projects.

After Mark and I were married and started a family, we were determined to never have a fake tree in our home. We were purists. Every year we would make the trek to the local lot, bring the tree home and Mark would wrestle it into that contraption that is supposed to simultaneously hold the 6 foot tree in place and keep it watered. Thus the source of the "Daddy's Christmas Words" tradition, those special expletives only uttered by Daddy during this most sacred time of year. Ah the memories.

Even when we lived in Sofia, Bulgaria we didn't skimp on this tradition. Mark went out, found a few scraggly Christmas trees for sale, and brought home a cute little Charlie Brown tree. When I say "brought home" I mean carried it a mile to the tram stop, drug it onto the fortuitously un-crowded tram, and then carried it another quarter mile and up four flights of stairs to our apartment. We were very thin while living in Sofia.

One year Mark was moonlighting at Home Depot and came home with a huge fake tree. It was a steal of a deal he said. Just like that, a shift in the universe, no more real Christmas trees, and no more "Christmas Words".

Now I'm not sure we could find a real Christmas tree if we wanted to. The Christmas tree lots seem to be in short supply. Did you know Oklahoma has a Christmas Tree Association? There are apparently 26 Christmas Tree farms selling trees this season. Maybe we'll have to check it out next year. The last time (ok, the only time) we tried to cut a Christmas tree from the woods, it turned into an episode from a Chevy Chase movie. We endured a terrible smell until Christmas Eve, when we realized the tree had been "marked" by a deer. Eewww. Deer urine on the Christmas bobbles. Just call us the Griswolds. I was eight months pregnant with Tessa, so I wasn't much help. All I could do was watch with my big self from the couch and laugh until I cried. That's what happens when suburbanites try to get all countryfied.


Fishlicity said...

Where do you get all the fun stuff (headers) to put on your blog? And how did you upload your pictures like that on your Christmas tour entry? Mine come out all boring like...

tessa said...

dude i can't figure out how to follow your blog!!

Cari said...

Hey Fishy! Try using Tessa showed it to me and it's great for editing pics.