Each year we have a family discussion about how to get a Christmas tree. There is a local fundraiser where they auction Christmas trees for charity and we always have the option to buy a beautifully decorated, but fake tree, in honor of our favorite non-profit organization. We can also harvest our own tree, which is always my husband’s first choice. This year his choice prevailed since the last two years we’ve participated in the auction. So last weekend we packed up the tools and the dog (with the forest service permit) and made a day in search of the perfect Christmas tree.
Finding a Christmas tree in the forest is an interesting adventure in scale. In their natural setting, Christmas trees all look beautiful and just right size. Six feet tall looks way too short and ten feet in diameter looks quite scrawny. Scale is simply the most fun part of the trip, especially with me and a child along. Mountains and full grown ponderosa pines make everything else look small. The last time we decided to cut our own tree we had difficulty getting it through the front door once we got it home. This year we had to be better judges of the real size.
So a beautiful warm day we searched, measured, compared and examined trees. Truly it is a beautiful site to see a child loving the trees in the forest so dearly. And we found the perfect Christmas tree. It is, of course, taller than six feet and much larger in diameter than it should be, but just beautiful. The harvest was a delightful adventure.
Once home, of course, the tree takes up half the room. But it shares our living room in a true joy of winter solstice and holiday delight, its beauty gracing our home for the coming months as we share our appreciation and sweetness of the season with family and friends. Each morning we give it a gallon of water as it remembers the joys of warmth and wet days. And I am reminded of the historical links to our winter holidays throughout time when trees were revered. I am grateful that my husband’s choice won out this year.
Once the holidays are over, this beautiful tree will become part of our wood pile and next winter will provide warmth for us in our wood stove, part of our continual cycle of living in a place close to the land.