I’ve struggled to be in the Christmas spirit, so it was tempting to skip a Christmas tree and any other kind of decorations. This year has been tough and next year promises to be more so. However, there have been one or two other Christmas tree-less years, and those years I’ve felt regret after the holidays were over. So a few weeks ago John and I went on a tree poaching expedition.
Our friends at Patchwork used to organize tree gathering, get permits, form a convoy. As everyone grew older, John and I were the only ones who still went. Now he and I still go to “The Spot,” but it’s spur-of-the-moment, permit-less, and just the two of us. The red truck with a bright evergreen bouncing along in its bed is the same as always, though.
We were committed to avoiding the usual tree gathering mistake: choosing something that requires every inch of our 12′ ceilings. The trees always look so much smaller outdoors!
We drove by several and stopped at one that was right on the road and a perfect size. Unfortunately, it was composed of 4-6 trunks all bound together into one tree.
We moved on, not seeing anything sufficiently small.
We stopped again. On closer inspection, that tree was not very attractive.
We stopped again. John walked over to a possible option and stood next to it for reference. He thought it looked good. I thought it was too tall.
Finally, we sighted something up and over a rise.
Up a bank filled with tall thorns and suddenly we beheld: the land of the little trees.
We found one we liked and John stood next to it to confirm that our eyes weren’t playing tricks on us. We cut it, hopped in the truck (Hooray! It actually fit all the way into the truck bed this time!), and drove away before anyone knew we were there (though I doubt that anyone cared).
We set the tree up, and it looks lovely, as usual. Out cat helped John assemble the new tree stand (I’m not sure why. He’s getting a little weird in his old age). Then the decorations. I’m starting to get a great collection of handmade raccoon ornaments. John put one at the back of the tree so it looks like it’s being sneaky. This year I added a squirrel, too. On the tree, the squirrel has an owl watching him from behind.