Growing up, I learned a lot about picking out a Christmas tree at a tree farm.
- Picking out a Christmas tree is more art than science.
- Getting there as soon after Thanksgiving as possible will give you the most options.
- Mom's opinion of what constituted a good choice won out at least 9 times out of 10. I mean, the woman knows her trees.
- My tree choices, and Dad's, were almost always too big/tall for the space. Eventually we learned to take a backseat role in tree choices, or at least a backseat-driver role. I sometimes even fantasized about getting an ugly little Charlie Brown tree, but my family rarely shared my pity for them.
So when Rebecca and I got to venture into the Christmas tree grove on the day after Thanksgiving with my parents and sister, I knew how it would go. Mom would try to choose the most out-of-the-middle-of-the-forest looking tree while Dad would lean more toward a more symmetrical, perfectly conical choice. They would meet in the middle and end up with a tree that had a little of both. There's always a fair amount of magic involved as well, like finding the secret copse that was tucked away in the far corner of the meadow this year.
And so it went. The tree was beautiful, of course, and I was happy to play my small part in this annual tradition. Not to mention that along the way we met an incredibly frisky puppy, found and munched native wintergreen berries, and bumped into my aunt and grandmother (who found a bird's nest in her tree and got jiggy with it).