Tonight I am sitting here listening to Joy to The world by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. It really does bring back old Christmas memories. AS we put the tree up yesterday, I remembered many of the times that mom would take us to get the tree. Then I remembered the times that we got a live tree when the girls were growing up. I love a live Christmas tree. There is something about the smell and the feel of a real live tree. And the adventure is in going to pick it out. It doesn’t matter whether you go to Home Depot, Kroger or the woods. It’s still an adventure.
Most years when the girls were growing up, it would be a family affair. We would all load up in the car and go out looking for the perfect tree. It was the one tree we never found. It’s because live trees are like people. No one is perfect. The only perfect trees that I have found have been artificial. If you think about it the only perfect people are artificial too. But let’s stay in trees tonight. You can imagine what it is like trying to get four people to agree on anything, especially a Christmas tree. Size was very important. It couldn’t be too small, but it couldn’t be too big either. Price figured into size too. The larger the tree, the more expensive it was, so size could be limited by budget. Then the shape came into play. It couldn’t be too skinny or too fat. It had to be full through out, otherwise it would have gaping holes. In reality it could have a weak side if it was going to stay up against the wall. Anyway, getting four people to agree on these variables was almost impossible. Eventually as the girls got older, Julia would send me out with them to get the tree. That was a little bit easier, but we always had to worry about whether or not Julia would approve when we got it back home.
The girls and I had a good time, and that went on for years. Somehow Jennifer got too busy one year to help and it wound up just Lisa and I picking out the tree. That worked better, and when Jennifer went to college, Lisa and I did that until she went away to school. Then, it was left up for me to pick out the tree by myself, and the fun went out of it. Slowly we wound up with an artificial tree. They are easier and they are “perfect”. But it’s still not the same. Some of the best memories I have growing up and then as a Dad, are going to pick out “the tree”. When you go to an artificial tree, you don’t get a chance to build new memories or relive old ones.
So, for the past ten to twelve years, I have had an artificial tree. No fun! The good news is that for a few of those years I have been able to help Lisa and her kids pick out their live tree. It’s not about the tree; it’s about making memories. If we weren’t going to be out of town so much during the holidays, I would have a live one this year. Maybe we can get it next year. It’s always an adventure when you set out on the journey for a real tree. We have enough artificial things in our lives; Christmas Trees shouldn’t be one of those things.