Many families cut their own Christmas tree as a holiday tradition. Ours was no exception. Each year we anticipated the excitement of walking through the woods in search of the perfect tree. Oh, the fun we had singing carols all the way home.
The year we married, my husband and I selected a tree that didn’t seem big in the “cut your own” lot. Once home, we realized getting it to our upstairs apartment presented a challenge. My husband instructed me to go up to our front porch. “I’ll hand the tree to you. Then pull it up,” he said.
When I grabbed hold of the top of the tree, I couldn’t lift it any further. I stood, bent over the railing, holding the tree. As my husband raced upstairs, a man walked by. He looked at me, turned away, then looked again. I began singing, “Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree.” The man laughed but kept walking. I had hoped he would offer assistance. Finally, my husband was at my side pulling the tree up.
When our first daughter was 2, she became convinced she had cut down our Christmas tree with some help from Daddy. When we brought it home, we found a bird’s nest close to the trunk. Friends told us that would bring good luck.
The best adventures in Christmas tree selecting and sawing happened when both daughters were preteens. Then we ventured far into woods with deep snow. One year the snowdrifts measured higher than 2 feet. A friend gave us permission to cut a tree on his rural property. Forward progress was nearly impossible in all that snow. Besides seeing dozens of pine trees, we saw a red fox and deer.
At last, we found a beautifully shaped, large tree. Our daughters carried the saws while I brought the rope. My husband pulled the heavy tree ahead of us.
While struggling through the deep snow, he stepped out of his boots. Our daughters and I stopped walking and stood laughing. We were so convulsed with giggles, we couldn’t call to him.
Suddenly, he turned and said, “This snow is getting into my boots. My feet are freezing.”
Our daughters and I, still laughing, could only stand and point to his boots. He asked, “What’s so funny?”
Finally he spotted his footwear standing in the snow and laughed, too, as he trudged back and put them on. We chuckled about that incident that Christmas season and for years afterward.
The most memorable moment came when we had found the perfect tree at the top of a long trunk. I suggested we keep looking, but my husband assured us he could cut just the portion of the tree we wanted. He climbed up and stood on branches extending from the sizable trunk. Then he began sawing beneath him.
“Dad, what are you doing?” asked our older daughter. “Will you or the tree land on top?”
“Trust me,” he assured us. I always worried when he said that.
As he sawed, the tree began to sway. I couldn’t watch; I was sure my husband would be injured. He jumped down just as the trunk cracked and fell away from us. I felt relieved and our daughters were thrilled to have a gorgeous Christmas tree and their intact father. We added that story to the rest of our Christmas memories.
My husband made each excursion exciting. He gave us moments to laugh about for the rest of the year. Each time we retold the story of our Christmas tree-cutting adventures, we relived the thrill.