Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Perfect Christmas Tree

This weekend, I pulled my 9-foot Christmas tree from the closet, assembled and clothed it in red, green and silver bulbs. Last year was the first time I made the switch from a real tree to the artificial kind. I was hesitant, but I quickly got on board when the artificial tree didn’t cost $70 and didn’t ooze sap all over my carpet. I do miss the smell of fresh pine that fills the house for the first week after bringing home a live tree but a pine scented Yankee candle will have to do because the perfectly symmetrical fake tree, fits in my living room just right. This is a big accomplishment because, as a teenager, every year, the quest to find the “perfect” tree was an important part of the holiday season.

Growing up in western Colorado, the Christmas tree hunt traditionally took place the weekend following Thanksgiving. My parents, aunt, uncle and cousins along with my brother, sister-in-law and sisters made the pursuit a family affair. The permit cost just $5 and that was all we needed to cut our own Christmas tree from the National Forest, which is exactly what we did.

One particular year, we went into the Uncompahgre National Forest in search of the “perfect” tree. This should have been no problem considering we had our pick of any tree in the whole forest. My brother and sister–in-law found their tree in record time. They cut it down, attached their permit tag and loaded it onto the flat bed trailer behind my uncle’s Ford Bronco. It was similar to hunting a deer or elk, without the blood and guts. 

Mom wanted to take a jaunt off the gravel road to find just the right tree for our family. It didn’t matter that there was 2 feet of snow on the ground and the tree would have to be dragged through a ravine to get back to the truck. The perfect tree was out there and it must end up in our living room.

Everyone, including my brother and sister in law, started roaming the forest to help Mom find the elusive spruce. Just as everyone got down to the bottom of the ravine, my brother noticed a pick up truck that had pulled alongside our vehicles up on the gravel road. As he watched, a guy got out and took my brother’s perfect tree off the flat bed trailer and put it in his own truck and drove away. My brother charged up from the ravine, tramping through 2 feet of snow, jumped in his Bronco II and sped down the gravel road, after the guy. Catching up to the thief, my brother ran the guy off the road. Armed with his full sized Maglite in his hand and his .45 handgun out of sight, my brother confronted the bandit and took back his perfect Christmas tree.

Who steals a Christmas tree off the back of someone else’s trailer in the middle of a forest?

Amid the hysteria, Mom picked a tree and Dad cut it down. It was lopsided and bare in several spots but for us, for that year, it was the “perfect” Christmas tree. 

1 comment:

Becky Herring said...

It's beautiful!! I love your Christmas tree!!