Since my fake tree drops more needles than a dried out real one at this point, I decided to give it away. When I told friends I was debating buying a new fake tree, Libby said “Don’t do that! Go cut one down!”.
Since I was a kid going to cut the tree down was a family tradition. We went to a farm somewhere and trudged happily through the snow debating our options. He drank hot cocoa, and give carrots to the sweet horse there who’s name I do not remember but who was there for many years.
I envisioned this for myself for many years. My husband and I would pile into the car with our kids bundled in snowsuits under which they’d wear shirts which said things like “Lettuce Turnip the Beet!”, and “Until There Are Nine!”. And we’d do the trudge through the snow thing. It will be far more exhausting than we anticipate because one kid will get tired and we’ll have to carry them or drag them behind in a sled which the hyper dog may or may not knock the kid out of causing tears and drama. Ot hysterical laughter. It could go either way.
But that’s not my vignette. I thought with time that I would have a partner to go on this adventure with. Alas…
Being perpetually single the thought of going to cut down a tree without a partner felt lonely and sort of pointless. In an effort to be environmentally conscious though I decided I didn’t want to buy a big tree of plastic this year, and instead decided to ask Little to join me to go to a garden center and pick out a fresh one. Good company and less of a project than cutting one down.
My parents met us there and picked one out for themselves. When we got home and cut the tree off the car, L brought the twine inside with her. “Does this go into the trash or recycling?” she asked, looking into the two bins. I smiled to myself that my work here is done – she thinks about the environment! (I kept the twine knowing it would come in handy eventually).
“Do you remember how to figure out how old the tree is?” I asked her before we heaved it into its stand (I taught her to count the rings three years ago when she went with my parents and I to cut down their tree).
“Yes!” It’s ten years old!
We had great fun decorating it, which was challenging because it’s so dense! We joked about the likelihood that I would cut the string of lights by accident while pruning it to make more space for ornaments. I managed to not do that, but my tree is comically half lit because I need another strand (the fake tree was smaller).
When L took out my (Ruth Bader Ginsberg) Dissent collar ornament, she asked for details. I tried, as succinctly as possible, to explain the Supreme Court and who RBG was. I told her that when RBG didn’t agree with the other justices about a case they were adjudicating, she’d wear her dissent collar. To which L said “well yeah that’s what I’d do too!”
After decorating the tree we hopped into my car and drove through Somerville to see their illuminations tour (random homes who are added to a tour because of their elaborate light displays). We had fun rating the lit up participating homes on a scale of one to ten. Our winner had a huge collection of characters and animals painted on wood. The clincher was its skeleton clearly painted for Halloween which now had a Santa costume painted over it.