Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finding the right tree

I guess she was feeling sentimental because my mom started this email exchange this morning:

Mom: Remember when we all used to go to Wolfe's Nursery and get a tree? And it always took forever. But it was such fun. I sure do miss that. I love you all so much!

Me: And how every year we'd beg for a flocked tree ... and then FINALLY, after years of begging, we got one. And picking out a Christmas CD from the display at the checkout.

Mom: And by the time Christmas came, the flocking was everywhere! Oh, yes, we had to have a Christmas CD. And new hooks every year. LOL.

David: This makes me smile J

Vanessa: And remember how we always felt sorry for the kind of ugly Charlie Brown trees? and we were always picking the super-tall trees that would never fit in our living room? J

Me: Yes, I was thinking about that, too! I think this year I might actually buy one of those Charlie Brown trees. Poor things.

It made me smile, too. I love Christmas time, not for the presents (though they are nice, of course), but because of Jesus, the reason we celebrate, and because it’s a chance to spend a lot of time with family. I am amazingly blessed to have a large (and growing!) and absolutely wonderful family. We’re not without our issues, of course, but we love one another and we love to be with one another. I remember those December mornings (usually the weekend right after Thanksgiving) when we’d all bundle up and head down to Wolfe’s Nursery in Dallas. We’d spend far too long wandering up and down aisle after aisle looking for the perfect tree. We’d think we found it, my stepdad would lift it upright and fluff it out so we could get a good look, and inevitably, we’d find some “fatal” flaw and decide to move on. Eventually, we’d get to the end and decide the tree we’d seen 12 aisles back was probably the best after all, and then we’d wander down that aisle again to try to “re-find” it.
As the tree was getting bagged up, the sisters would head inside to warm up and peruse the Christmas CD display conveniently located by the register. Even though they all sounded the same and included the same songs, save one or two, we were convinced we needed a new one for that year it was Christmas, after all, and we wanted a special treat. Then, we’d head home and spend the afternoon decorating to the sounds of Christmas joy.
I haven’t bought a real tree in a long time. When I was single and living in small apartment, I decided it was best to just buy a plastic one I could set up easily and reuse. And I’ve used the same tree for 5 or so years now. Each year, I debate with myself (and occasionally include Matt) over whether to get a real one. I love real trees, but should I spend the money? Will it mess with my allergies? Is it too much trouble? What about the environmental impact? But it’s so wonderful to have a real tree in the house! Maybe this is the year I bring it back. Plus, it would be an excuse (not that we need one) to visit Ted Drewe’s (known best around these parts for frozen custard, but also a purveyor of Christmas trees in the fall).
P.S. Apparently, you can now buy a (plastic) Charlie Brown Christmas Tree at Target, Urban Outfitters, or a gazillion other places. What?!? Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of "saving" an ugly real tree. Hmmm.

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