by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist
No Audio Version
Sorry folks, but no Podcast today. For those unfamiliar, I do a video podcast every weekend that airs today. But not this time. No – this time it has nothing at all to do with production problems. It has nothing to do with technical issues, more often than not caused by my own ineptitude.
This time it was pure pleasure. I had a choice to make and I chose family over politics.
Every year my sons and I revel in a trek into the woods in search of a Christmas tree. Sure, we could do it the easy way and pick one out one from the many lots around town. And to be sure, we would likely get a beautiful one.
We could also choose the blasphemous path and buy a synthetic “Fake” tree – maybe hang some pine tree air-fresheners on it to replicate that outdoorsy scent. Yummy!
But we Smith’s enjoy the thrill of the hunt. So off we went, two weekends ago, into the wilderness, to scout for and tag a tree. This year we were exceptionally lucky and found a beautiful 7 ft white pine. And best yet, it was only about a mile in. In years past we’ve been known to trek twice that in seeking out the perfect wild tree. As we strode through the woods, invariably one or the other of my sons, or both, would recount a story from a previous year – “Remember that year when…?”
We tagged the prize with our signature red shoelace, made note of how to get back to the location, and marched back to our vehicle.
Now, it’s two weeks later, and we’re back into the woods to fell our prize. Of course the sky picked today to provide us with the first snowfall of the year – but no matter – we soldiered through. Some quick swipes of the saw and it’s down.
When the kids were much smaller than they are now, it was the job of yours truly to heft the tree the entire way back. One of the kids would carry the saw and the other, the Charlie Brown tree we picked up along the way. Our tradition is that we display two trees – the full size in its usual place of honor and the Charlie Brown version, across the room set up on a table. Needless to say the Charlie Brown version is much easier to find as its purpose is to look rather pitiful and sparse.
We carry the tree back out to our awaiting car and like the Grinch cramming trees up the chimneys of the Whos in Whoville, I stuffed the pine as far back into my trunk as it would go, and off we went.
Next, it’s time to set up the tree stand, measure the height so that our ceiling will accommodate it, trim the base and lock it into place. The kids are then allowed a respite as Dad embarks on placing the lights. They are then called back in as we all partake in the trimming, ranging from recently purchased ornaments to a myriad of past school projects made from paper, cardboard, pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks.
Naturally nostalgia plays a role as we reminisce and laugh about the various masterpieces from years gone by.
And the end of the day, we are understandably exhausted, but man is it worth it. There is little more I relish than the over a decades long tradition my family and I have forged of Christmas tree hunting and trimming. One that I’m certain they will continue with their own families.
And the best part is, even though they are now both in college, they too still get exited by the entire process. It doesn’t get better than that.