Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Trees

So the day after Thanksgiving is one of my very most favorite days of the entire year.  No, I don't go shopping and get some great deals on Christmas presents.  Ken and I started a tradition a very long time ago.  One of my friends asked us to join them at a farm in Buckeystown, MD, Mayne's Tree Farm, to get our Christmas trees.  It wasn't Black Friday that year but since then it has become a Black Friday tradition for us.  There's only been two years since Connor was born that we didn't go there and he's almost 12.  The year he was born and the year that we were renting while our house was being built.  Both times I was extremely disappointed with our tree hunting experience.  After the second time, I vowed we would never willingly choose a different experience. 

We love it.  We hop in the Explorer/Suburban/Sprinter (our cars have grown as our family has grown) and ride up the road to the farm.  It's a family run farm and they keep their business going buy selling Christmas trees.  We ride a tractor out to the field.  We make sure to tell them we want white pine, because white pine is huggable.  We jump off the tractor with a saw.  We used to use their hack saws but we have since learned to bring my DeWalt reciprocating saw with a battery.  We search and search.  We mark trees with gloves and hats and scarves to make sure we can find them again.  We look from every angle and we look at all sides.  Well, using the term 'we' isn't exactly correct.  You see, I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to Christmas trees and I'm the one doing all this.  Ken follows me around.  The boys have always done their best to point out the tree that they think is 'the one' but I'm the one who makes the decision.

Once the decision is made (after traipsing around the field for about an hour), Ken usually asks three or four times if I'm sure (because sometimes I'm not) and then he cuts it down.  We drag it back to the trail and the tractor picks it up.  The put it on the machine that shakes out most of the dead needles and then they stick it through the machine that wraps it.  We load it up, buy a dozen jars of preserves to last the year, and go have lunch.  We drive home, put the tree up and the kids and I watch my all time favorite Christmas movie "The Muppet Christms Carol" while I put the lights on the tree and Ken hangs the Christmas lights on the house.  For the past two years we have been very pleased to have my aunt and uncle meet us there and visit with us on this day... and this year they got to meet the newest Yeatmans.

It was a good day.  Diana and John loved the whole thing.  John especially loved the tractor ride.  Yuli did ok but started to fall apart before the day was over.  All in all it was a good day.  I tried really hard to not take long to choose the tree.  We ended up with a much smaller tree than usual but it's pretty.  I hope they continue to plant more white pine.  It seems like the selection wasn't as good this year.  We had a good lunch and I got half the lights on the tree.  Unfortunately, Ken is having a really hard time with his cold/illness/plague whatever it is and didn't get the lights up outside.  In fact, Friday was his last day up and it may have done him in.  Starting with Saturday, Ken spent four days in bed.  He only got up once to sit with Yuli in her room while she raged for an hour so I could have a break.  He then got up on Monday to go to the doctor, but for four days, I was single-mommin' it.  That was rough.  Ken ended up cancelling his business trip and by the end of the week he was feeling ok to work from home.