Larry Wilde has been credited with saying, “Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.”
That may be true but I have also noticed that as my children have grown taller their perspective has changed. The 6 foot tall tree that once appeared to be 30 feet tall no longer cuts it. They want that 30 foot tree!
Saturday we decided (after looking at our December calendar and noticing how quickly it was filling up) to go tree hunting. Normally this is a family activity that takes place later in the month but one we often struggle to fit in since it has to be done on a Saturday due to the shorter days and the danger of wielding a chain saw in the dark. So after a morning of cleaning and decorating the house we decided to head out and find the “perfect tree!”
We drove to McIntyre tree farm, where we have done our tree hunting for the last 6 years. Armed only with enthusiasm and a chainsaw we headed into the fields. The first field we visited had a beautiful selection of well manicured trees, which the kids all immediately dismissed due to size. They wanted a TALL tree even if it meant we gave up the beautiful shape of the six footers. As Toby and I walked around examining the trees from all angles the kids had a harder time focusing. The ground was still snow-covered from the big snowfall the previous week so they took advantage of the snow and all the trees to use as hiding places and had a snowball fight.
We finally interrupted their game long enough to ask them to go stand by the tree they thought was “the one.” Molly, being a smart aleck, ran to this one.
The kids stopped their snowball fight long enough to inform us that none of these trees would do. We needed to go BIGGER so we headed to the other field where the trees are older, not quite so pretty and manicured, but much larger. The first tree the kids ran to was a 25 foot tree that resembled a mushroom. Toby said, “Uh…No.” Once again the kids lost sight of the task at hand as they discovered the magical hidden spots found between the large trees that had grown together. I was soon following them rather than tree hunting when Gracie yelled there was something I needed to see. I followed Rusty under branches and around trees. As my hair was snagged by the pine branches I debated whether the trek was worth it. Then I broke free into a clearing.
We had found Narnia!
In that little clearing hidden by 3 tall pines we found a magical world. All it needed was a lamp post.
Toby finally convinced us to leave Narnia by warning us that the sun was quickly setting and we still didn’t have a Christmas tree. It was time to focus on the task at hand and find our perfect tree. We finally stumbled on a compromise in the form of 12 foot tree. It wasn’t quite as tall as the kids had hoped but it resembled a Christmas tree not a mushroom. It was a winner! Let’s cut this baby down!
Our Christmas tree hunt is always one of the highlights of the Christmas season for me. There is something special that occurs as you traipse through the woods together on that special mission of finding the perfect tree. I don’t know if it’s the crunch of the snow under your boots, the smell of pine in the air, or perhaps it is just the work that it takes to hunt down and cut down the perfect tree that makes the experience so sweet. Maybe it has nothing to do with the “hunting” at all. Maybe it has everything to do with who you are hunting with..
I’m not sure… All I know is that something special, something memorable, something magical happens every year in the fields of McIntyre farm as we search for the perfect tree.