It’s time to get out and find just the right tree for the holidays. I haven’t given in yet to buying a fake tree, although some of my siblings and in-laws have. Maybe if I had to go down and purchase it in a lot somewhere it would hold less pleasure. I know they like just pulling one out of the closet—already decorated.
And when the weather outside really is frightful, the search through windy, icy fields to find just the right cedar tree isn’t especially fun. But, when you do return and finally get it set in place in a decent watering dish, there’s at least the satisfaction of a successful tree hunt.
Years ago, several family members shared in the tree decorating. Now I’m the one who ends up putting on the lights and the bulbs myself, then taking them off a few weeks later. Playing music while you do it helps a little. But the best, and only, reason that keeps me seeking that live tree is this: sitting in the glow of those rosy, sparkling lights in the darkest, longest nights of the year. And smelling the fragrance of the evergeen.
When I was a kid, my grandmother had those bubbler lights that were especially fun. And we had a Swedish candle holder that caused a brass wheel to turn and send shadows spinning across the ceiling. It’s all glowing lights and memory. I guess a fake tree could do all the same things with lights. But somehow I just can’t let go of the real thing. Can you?
P.S. A forester mentioned to me one year that there is a difference between the male and female cedar trees. Since then I’ve made a note to feel for the trees that had the softest needles. They’re a lot less painful to deal with when it comes to putting on and taking off lights…