After days of requests from B7 the children and I headed out to buy a Christmas tree last Saturday. We did not venture out to a Christmas Tree farm, miles out of town, as we did one year. That time we drove out to a farm with friends so we could have the whole experience: riding on the cart out to field, tramping through the snow, choosing the tree, drinking hot chocolate and collecting greenery for a wreath. It was freezing! By the time we had walked down one row of trees we were so cold we didn’t care which tree, we just wanted to get back where there was a fire. Hot chocolate did not go very far in warming us up or in giving me the warm happy feeling of going out into the forest and bringing back a tree. This is why I don’t leave the city to buy my tree any more.
Last weekend we found our big Balsam fir tree fairly quickly. As we have cathedral ceilings and very little furniture in our living room I like to fill it with a big tree. I put it in the van and tied the back door down as it wouldn’t shut. On the way home we made two quick stops leaving B7 and A11 in the van as I couldn’t lock it. After the second stop L13 and I came back to the van and it wouldn’t start. I tried a couple of things, and checked the manual. The temperature was -17°C outside and the van, having been open for a while was not at all cosy. A11 and I managed to shove the tree a little further into the van so I could at least lock it while I called Andrew for assistance. We waited in a coffee shop, thawing out with hot chocolate and coffee until he came to save us.
Our tree is now decked out in bows, bells and baubles collected and made over the last 17 years. Its lights are turned on around 4 o’clock each afternoon as it gets dark and there is a growing number of gifts around the base. B7 has set up his train track to surround the tree.
Choosing a tree in Australia was a slightly different experience. We did go out to a Christmas tree farm, not far from where we lived, but we chose from rows of pines not firs. There were a few other subtle differences also. That is our little Miss L in the photo with my dad.