Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark: No, Aunt Bethany. Those are the Christmas lights.

I can't tell you how excited I am that the holiday season is here - I love the lights, the decorations and especially putting up the tree (taking it down is another matter). And so begins the annual Fox family debate - what kind of tree to get.

My husband grew up in an "artificial tree" family. He believes in economy - grab that puppy from the basement, have it up in under a half hour, maybe spray some pine-scent and start decorating.

If only it could be so simple.

For, you see, I tend to channel the spirit of Clark Griswold during the holiday season. And worse, I come from a real tree family. And not just a "tree lot" tree family - my dad had us out early the weekend after Thanksgiving, hoofing it across massive Christmas tree forests, looking for the perfect one. We'd spent all morning walking - and goofing around - but all in search of the not-too-tall, not-too-short, no-bald-spots, does-it-have-the-right-kind-of-needles, long-enough-trunk, my-brother-did-NOT-see-it-first masterpiece of a tree. We'd take turns chopping it down and then my dad would haul it back out of the woods.

The first year we were married, I tried to re-create this tradition with my husband, the spray-on pine scent guy. He was cautiously optimistic. I picked the wrong tree farm. It was literally a long field flanked by other people's backyards. He laughed. And finally, I did too. It was fun. The tree was pretty. And we vowed ... next year would be spectacular.

Then we had one kiddo, and two. My husband began to point out ads for artificial trees - on sale! (Yeah, I'm a sucker for a sale.) But, no. While I'm not going to channel Clark Griswold to the point of dashing out to the woods with two small children and a hack saw, I still need a real tree.

So we head to the lot up at church. My husband talks with the guys, we all pick out a tree and it's just as pretty as the ones we dragged home years ago. But someday...one day...I'm going to get these people back out into the woods.

Now what about you? Are you an "artificial tree" person or a "real tree" person? And do you know any good tree farms?


Natalie Hatch said...

Angie, it's summer here, so we do the artificial tree that can stand the twinling test (though we're waiting until next week to put it up just in case).
Imagine having Christmas on the Fourth of July and that's what we face. It's HOT, sweaty with lots of flies around.

Shirley Damsgaard said...

Personally, Angie, my favorite scene is when Clark goes bombing down the hill on the saucer he's sprayed with a new wonder chemical!! But my humor always has been twisted.

To answer your question--definitely a "real" tree person!! I didn’t grow up in a real tree family--no, we had a green aluminum one!! (Ah, yes, I can close my eyes and still see the shiny green needles vibrating every time the furnace kicked on! 8) ) My mother thought it was the hottest thing since sliced bread. No fuss, no mess, just put the sucker up and turn on the color wheel! Of course putting it up usually meant a few finger cuts from the metal needles, but the spots of red did blend nicely with the green! I don't know whatever happened to that tree, and to be honest, I kind of wish had it now--it would be a collectible! (Who knew something that cheesy would one day be desirable??? )

And tree farms?? Yup, there's one about fifteen miles from my house, but unfortunately about six hundred from yours! And, Angie, I don't think you can talk your husband into driving that far!! (But if you do, you're welcome to spend the night at my house! 8) )

Have a good one!

Angie Fox said...

That sounds pretty good about now, Natalie. I was just out putting ornaments on the trees in the yard and eyow - frostbite hands.

Angie Fox said...

Now that's an idea, Shirley! We have a huge hill behind our house and it goes straight into the woods - a guaranteed good time. Brings back memories of one Fox Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house where each of us kids took turns having sledding accidents. We kept running into the same tree. I should blog about that some time.

And I'm envying your tree farm. Perhaps I can tell the hubby that it's not too far - just by my friend Shirley's house. Keep going...a little farther...keep driving...it just seems long, honey...keep going...Iowa? Don't be silly. I didn't see a sign for Iowa.