The weekend before Joe went hunting we bundled up and went Christmas tree hunting our neighbors tree farm. It sounds a bit like a hallmark movie scenario doesn’t it? living next to a tree farm? Except I didn’t leave a big bustling career in NYC to return to rural Allegan to fall in love with Joe the small town guy trying to save his family ornament business. But it would make a great set up wouldn’t it?
I’m perfectly fine living in small town Allegan with my rude sheep and wild son.
This year was the first year Otto is really understanding Christmas. Last year he was pretty confused about what was all going on but now he knows what a Christmas tree is, the nativity scene, the gifts, Santa and of course Christmas cookies. We are working hard trying to teach him the actual Christmas story but he keeps calling the baby Jesus baby Lisa. Not sure where that came from.
The day we went Christmas tree hunting it was just shy of 50 degrees and sunny. Michigan has been giving us such a mild winter and I’m loving it. I hope we have somewhat of a white Christmas but i’m fine (and i’m sure my plants are too) that it isn’t 2 feet of freezing snow. (remind me of this conversation in January).
It took us over an hour to pick out the perfect tree. Otto ran from field to field and tree to tree commenting on how cute and tiny the little trees were. He would run up and bend down and say “Mom Dad come look at this tiny little tree! It’s so really cute!” He did that about 30 different times to all the baby trees in the field.
The farm was starting to close and we told Otto it was time to pick a tree. The next one he touched was going to be the one we chopped down. He walked around with his hands behind his back for probably another 15, 20 minutes.
He walked up to a tree missing a good chunk of the lower middle branches, grabbed a twig and said, “this is the three”.
Not wasting any time joe got on his knees and started sawing away.
Otto got to yell TIMBER as the tree tumbled on its side. Joe picked it up and took it to the two track while we waited for the tractor and wagon to pick us up. I’m pretty sure the tractor wagon ride was Otto’s favorite part.
We took the tree inside and once again bought a tree that was about 8 inches too tall for our living room. Once again, we sawed the top off.
I tried my best to cover the giant gap but I honestly love it because Otto felt the tree was special enough to make the cut (see what I did there?). We covered it with our lights, shiny bright ornaments and garlands and light it every night when we sit in the living room after dinner.
Growing up we were not real tree people. In fact when Joe and I got married we got the faux one that I am pretty sure my parents had from when they got married. When we had Otto we got our first real tree. I wish we hadn’t waited so long. I love the smell of the real trees and I love that I don’t have to assemble and fluff the branches every year. Why is fluffing the branches the absolute worst part of a fake tree?
I’m not sure how long we are going to leave our tree up this year or how we are going to explain to Otto that we put it in the burn pile after Christmas. I guess just another life lesson to add to the book.