December 11, 2012
I don’t recall even one December in my lifetime that my parents and I haven’t gone together to pick out a freshly cut Christmas tree to decorate for the holidays; that is, until this year.
Occasionally it came from Lowe’s, but usually, my parents and I found the time to ride out to the local Christmas tree farm. There, the three of us would weave in and out of the trees on display, circling each one like it was our prey.
Too scrawny, we’d say. Too short. Too tall. Too fat.
And then, bingo — we’d set our eyes on the perfect one: a spruce or a fir or some kind of pine, symmetrical and full and just the right size. We’d load it in the back of the truck — a few times, we even cut down our own — and take it home, where we put it in a bucket of water to soak overnight. The anticipation was just about unbearable, I remember, waiting a whole day for that tree to soak.
When the next day finally did roll around, we would bring the tree into the house and set it up in our heavy antique tree stand, scraping the ceiling and shaking its needles to the floor as we attempted to position it just right. We would sit the whole thing on top of an old sled, and the irresistible smell of the tree would fill the entire house.
That’s when I knew for sure that Christmas was here again.
Yes, it was a hassle, and I admit I’m a little Scrooge-y when it comes to all that work, but seeing those twinkling lights and ornaments from my childhood always made it worth the trouble.
Or maybe not — not for my Mom, anyway, because this year, she decided to buy a fake Christmas tree behind my back.
She’s been threatening to do it for years, but Dad and I have always won out — until now. She says the pre-lit, scrawny, plastic tree imposter makes things easier on us, but I’m having a really hard time warming up to the idea. All that trunk-assembling and branch-fluffing business seems like just as much trouble to me, and instead of smelling like pine needles, the house smells like burnt plastic.
I may not like it, but ‘tis the season to be jolly, so I’m doing my best to embrace the change.
After all, there’s nothing like the smell of burnt plastic to get me in the holiday spirit.
Merry Christmas, y’all! Linsay Cheney is the editor of Connect Statesboro, and she loves hearing from readers! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.