Saturday, December 03, 2011


Few things signal Christmastime to me like the sight of tree lots at night. The white lights and teenage kids in Santa hats, helping people pick out just the right conifer for their holiday celebration. Simply looking at the photo of a tree lot at night, I can imagine the cool air, soft smell of pine and the good naturedness and cheer of everyone, mingling about...


In years past, we'd always shopped for our Christmas tree at night. I thought it was incredibly romantic to bundle up warmly and pick out our tree in the evening. The Spirit of Christmas would overtake us when we'd return home to sip egg nog and listen to Christmas music while stringing up lights. But after our tree shopping experience last year, we decided to go tree shopping earlier in the day. Like immediately after breakfast.

It's not quite as romantic ... but shopping with children for a tree at night poses a few challenges. At this latitude, it's typically dark at 5 PM and last year, the children were playing hide and seek beneath stacked trees. I was worried that we were going to lose someone in the dark. Or, be responsible for an entire row of 10-12 foot trees falling down, domino style.


The other drawback of shopping at night is you can't really see the tree very well. One year, we bought our tree and returned home only to discover that it was devoid of needles on one side. When it's daylight, you're more likely to see the tree and your children's excited faces and know precisely what they're up to. And you're more likely to STOP them before they obliviously wander in to the chainsaw area where teens in Santa hats are giving stems a "fresh-cut."

Because the word "easy" is absent from our vocabulary, we took our puppy tree shopping today. He promptly scurried under the row of 7-8 footers and left a little deposit. After briefly contemplating, "Um, fertilizer?" I scurried in to cleanup. We were on church property after all. And my conscience is great.


O Tannebaum, O Tannebaum.

These are the memories I'll sincerely treasure, forever.