We got our Christmas tree today. We did it the old-fashioned way. We drove out to a tree farm and cut it down.
It was so festive. Especially when the kids were fighting over which tree to pick. "MY tree is better." "NO, mine!" "Mine has character!" "We don't want character, we want perfection! Who's with me?" Surprisingly, no one. So we got a tree with character. It's beautiful.
And when we were tying the tree to the top of our van, that was great too. Especially after we had painstakingly thrown the rope through the double doors and the front doors several times until it was good and rolled up in the rope. And then we realized we couldn't shut the van doors with all the rope. "Okay! Plan B!" my husband announced, still smiling but not quite so cheerfully.
While we undid all the rope, the guy beside us set off his car alarm while tying his tree on his car roof. And it was the alarm to end all alarms. The macho-guy alarm. The 'you touch my car you will pay and so will everyone within a 5 mile radius' alarm. It sounded like a fire truck siren. And he couldn't shut it off. We were trying to sing 'Jingle Bells' but we couldn't hear ourselves. So we sang louder. I think all the people around us really appreciated it.
Once the tree was on top of the van and we could shut all the doors, it didn't seem that secure. My husband told my son he would have to sit on top of the car and hold the Christmas tree all the way home.
My other son thought he was serious and panicked, shouting, "If you sit on the top of the car, you could FALL OFF AND DIE!"
We assured my son we hadn't really meant it - that it was just a little Christmas joke. My husband and I were laughing until Ryan yelled, "The Christmas tree just fell off the top of the car!" My husband jolted upright in his seat and the car swerved while he checked the mirrors to see if he could still see the tree. For some reason, he didn't think that was a very funny 'little Christmas joke'.
When my husband saw the price list for the tree as we were driving out of the lot to pay, he paused. "You know," he remarked, "there are Christmas trees for $20.00 at the No Frills."
"Yes," I conceded, "but you can't put a price on memories, honey. Does anyone ever say, fondly, 'Remember that time we drove down to the No Frills parking lot and picked up a tree? I'll never forget that shiny asphalt.' Of course not! But will they say, 'Remember that time we drove hours to the tree farm and froze our @sses off?' Yes, they will! They will LOVE it."
My husband handed over the $50.00.