Saturday, December 6, 2008

christmas tree cutting... almost!

This will be our 4th Christmas in Southern Virginia. For various reasons (pregnancy, new baby, traveling) we have not ventured out to cut our own tree since moving here. In my family, tree cutting day is a BIG DEAL. It started out small, just a couple of families getting together to go our and hunt our own trees, but seemed to grow bigger with each year. By the time Phil and I were married, the first Saturday of December, you would find us at my Parents house at 9:30am with at least 100 other people ( I am not exaggerating here) eating breakfast and squeezing through the crowd saying hi to friends and family, some of which you only saw at this annual gathering. After breakfast we would all tie red bows on our cars and head out, caravan style, to the a tree farm that my mom and sister had carefully selected. Once we had all found the perfect tree we would all gather together for Sloppy Joe's and hot cocoa and toss the football around. I have many fond memories of this day.

This was a tradition I knew I wanted to continue with my family (only maybe on a smaller scale!) and this was the year we were going to start. We started small and just invited our bible study. We had 14 people here for breakfast (us included) and after a nice morning of fellowship we headed out to the farm with one other family.

They had no idea what they were getting into when they signed on to go with us. The first farm we hit was a total bust. Really it was just someone with a lot of land letting people go out into the woods and hunt a tree. The background in this picture is pretty much what it looked like. It is a miracle neither of us got our cars stuck in the mud as we drove down the dirt road that lead to the tree (or so they said, we never found them)!
The next farm seemed a bit more promising. The kids found a "hill" to roll down and they were happy. The tree's were planted and rows and we saw a number of cars driving away with trees all wrapped up and tied nicely on their cars. I make a sad discovery today though. It turns out that Christmas trees, as I know them, don't grow in southeastern Virginia. Instead they were growing Leland Cyprus and calling it a Christmas tree and another similar looking tree. We stood there amongst the Cyprus trees trying to decide what was more important, having a tree that looked like what my idea of a Christmas tree was, or cutting down our own tree?
In the end we went with the tree that "looked" like a Christmas tree and bought a pre-cut Frazer Fir. I don't regret it. Our tree is gorgeous, but as we drove away, I did have a moment of sadness for our future Christmas tree cutting prospects... either I will have to give up my idea of what a Christmas tree should look like, or I will have to give up cutting my own tree as long as we call Hampton Roads our home.

Here is our attempt at getting a picture in front of our tree, those of you who have multiple kids know how likely that is!

When we got home Regan went to play with a friend and Micah and Max helped me decorate the tree. This was the first time in years that I actually got all my ornaments out (we have been using cheap plastic ones since the kids like to touch so much). I love our tree!

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