The Christmas Tree Saga
For the first 7 years after having my son, I was playing the role of both father and mother because my husband was away in the military. That meant going to a Christmas tree farm and picking a tree for our home. I did draw the line at chopping the tree. Instead I asked the nice people working at the farm to do the hard work, which included loading the tree on top of the car.
I let our son choose the tree and often our trees were weird looking because our son has a penchant for picking the tree which no one else wants. It all changed after my husband left the military and we started to live a “normal” life together. Every year I asked him to let our son and nephew (who always managed to be here during Christmas) pick the tree. We have long conversations about how it is not about having a perfect tree but having the Christmas spirit. And every year my husband is the one who HAS to pick the perfect tree. It has become a tradition for him to say, yes, this time I will let the kids pick the tree and then proceed to forget all about it as soon as we arrive at the farm.
All of us (including our dogs) have to trapeze through mud in cold weather to get that perfect tree. Once, the perfect tree was too tall for our living room, once it came with scoliosis and it took some ingenuity to make it stand straight, once the back side was lopsided, once it had to be angled just right so people couldn’t see the missing tree branches in the back - yes you get the idea. The 2020 tree was no different. After walking for an hour and half he chose a tree which people at the farm had trouble wrapping with the machine. It is too big and too heavy. By the time we finished sawing the tree 5 people who came after us had already left with their trees. It took another 30 minutes to get the tree secured on top of the car. When I showed the tree to my younger newphw in India, he said, "is the tree diabetic?".
Will we have it any other way? No!
Some traditions are worth the annoyance. In fact, we now look forward to going through the same routine. It is comforting to know some things will never change.