Friday, December 11, 2015


This past weekend, I was gathering up a few things for our small trip. Among them was a sheet a plastic, some rope and a pair of leather gloves. After I tossed them into the back of our very dirty van, I felt somewhat conspicuous with the items I needed and wondered what a police officer might think if he searched us for some reason. Would he believe we were just going to find a Christmas tree.

We've always had real trees as our Christmas tree every year and thus far in my life, I have paid exactly zero dollars for all of them added together. I am fortunate in that I have a couple thousand acres to hunt for a tree that might be used for our Christmas tree and even though we spend time cutting them down to prevent them from encroaching on farm-able land, they are renewing at a faster pace than our usage of them.

In over four decades of doing this, I have always chosen a red cedar tree though most people might frown on them as being a trash tree. They are often brown this time of the year but if you dump a bottle of green food coloring in the first water you give it after cutting, it greens up nicely. It also smells absolutely fantastic in the house. This year, we didn't get a red cedar for the first time.

The first place we stopped to look for them had several red cedar trees but all but one were unsuitable for Christmas trees and the one that was, was too big for the location we place it in our house. My parents opted to take that one which left us with the decision of going to someplace else to look for one or to take a perfectly shaped and sized white pine growing three feet away. It had sprung up from seeds from some nearby larger white pine trees that I helped plant 26 years ago. Compared to the red cedar, it is not as thickly branched in the middle but it still made a nice tree. Best of all, we could start decorating it right away instead of waiting a day like we do with the red cedars so that their needles soften up after we water them.

Officer, I was just planning on killing it in a ditch and then putting the body on display in my front window!


Bob said...

I would certainly buy that story! Beautiful tree, by the way, and I love the train! How great that you can go and cut them down. If you added up what I have spent on Christmas trees .... well let's just say it's a bit more than zero dollars.

Ed said...

Bob - This is the first time I have set that train up in about six or seven years. I thought it would be nice and fascinate my oldest daughter when she was just a couple years old. It did however, it is so loud it induces headaches into the rest of us. I guess time has a way of fading the noise and I dug it out to set up this year. I instantly regretted it but my daughters do love it so we let them run it ten minutes in the evening and try to be in a different room.

Kelly said...

What a wonderful tradition! I haven't had a live tree since I was a very small child, though for a number of years I bought (school fundraiser) a live wreath. Interesting little tidbit about "greening up" the trees, too.

It might have looked worse if you'd had a hatchet and saw in the trunk as well...

Vince said...

Looks good. Do you have Holly. That's the next bit I've to get.

Ed said...

Kelly - Fortunately, my father has a nice bow saw that we use just for these occasions, otherwise it hangs on a hook in the garage the other 364 days of the years.

Vince - We do have holly and mistletoe but you almost never see living stuff cut anymore. Most are made from plastics. About the only time I see it used is in live wreaths that are sometimes sold.