We incorrigibly insist upon cutting down our own Christmas tree, even when we’re living in climates not necessarily conducive to lush evergreen foliage. Such as southern California or Florida. So we duly went to the Christmas tree farm and hopped on the hayride to find our perfect tree.
The pickings were a little slim. Most of the trees were either under three feet tall or over twenty, giving the farm a sort of “Ents herding guinea pigs” look. The ones of moderate size were all, shall we say, eccentric. One tree was half green, half yellow. Another had a trunk that zig-zagged like a lightning bolt. Still another looked as if someone had been taking bites out of it.
After walking through row upon row of sorry stragglers (who’s scruffy looking?), I was feeling sorely tempted to throw in the towel and just settle for one of the already cut spruces or firs evidently trucked in from some far distant northern clime.
And then we saw it: one fairly decent looking tree. Needless to say, we made quick work of the sawing, and skipped the dusty hayride back, carrying our prize to the barn to be shaken, netted, and packed into our car (yep, it fit inside through the trunk instead of on top, and now we no longer need a “fresh spruce” air freshener).
Once we got it home and into the stand, we realized that very thin branches are characteristic of the quick-growing pines of Florida. Most of the ornaments had to be hung well in on the branches of the tree, so as to avoid the branch bending and dropping them to shatter on our tile floor. Fortunately, Florida pines are also obligingly sparse, so even ornaments hung near the trunk are perfectly visible. Even better, our tree decorating ensemble includes a dozen fake poinsettias, large enough to fill in even the most egregious gaps.
So without further ado, I give you our Christmas tree!
Stay tuned tomorrow for an intimate introduction to some of my favorite Christmas ornaments.