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The Perfect Tree (A Christmas Essay) Tradition

Updated on October 21, 2011

The Perfect Tree

It is cold outside. A winter coat, snow pants, and gloves are not enough to keep me warm. I don’t care. This is the day I’ve been waiting for since Thanksgiving. As December 25 draws near, anticipation of finding the perfect Christmas tree occupies my thoughts. For as long as I can remember my family and I have made this trip once a year. With nothing more than a saw and a few bungee cords, we all pile into the car and head off to the family tree farm a few miles from our house. If our timing is just right, the hay cart will be pulling up as we arrive. A mad rush for the cart ensues. Heaven forbid my dad has to walk out to the tree field! As the tractor crawls forward and crosses over the frozen stream, trees of all different shapes and sizes take form around us. When the ride stops everyone jumps off and scatters in different directions. This is the beginning of negotiations. Each of us has a different definition of the perfect tree. My dad’s goal is to find the tree faster than the year before and make it home in time for the football game. I think every tree is perfect, but my mother is more discerning. Every year my mother finds a taller tree, and we always end up cutting more off the bottom when we realize that it won’t fit in our living room. My responsibility of cutting down the tree has existed ever since I was strong enough for the job. I’m always up for the task. Once the saw blade slices through the bark, the aroma of a fresh cut tree begins to fill the air and saw dust falls onto the previously clean snow. Once we tie the tree to our car, we quickly head home for some hot cocoa with fluffy marshmallows. The steamy cocoa warms us up and we are ready to decorate the tree. My mom always says, “You can never have too many lights”. When the fuse blows, I say, “I think were good on the lights, let’s start putting up the ornaments”. This is a special time because my family has acquired many ornaments over the years. We have ornaments from all the vacations we have ever been on. Each ornament is special in its own right and has its own story. We remember these stories while we decorate the tree. My favorite ornament, however, is not from a vacation. When I was on the basketball team in grade school, my mom bought my friends and I glass basketballs. These glass ornaments are my favorite because they remind me of my team and all of my old friends. When all the ornaments are perfectly in place I turn off the lights. My mom flips the switch, and the tree’s colorful lights fill the room with a magical glow. Someday I hope to pass this magic on to my children as my parents did to me.

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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      7 years ago from Northern California

      Great Hub! I also loved to go chop down a tree with my family. My aunt had a tree farm and we'd always get our trees from there, in the snow :)

    • kentuckyslone profile image

      kentuckyslone 

      7 years ago

      Great hub, decorating that tree and then taking everything down afterwards can be a really big job but also a nice opportunity for family time.

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