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The Yearly Christmas Tree Safari

Updated on March 5, 2014's November the 30th...EEK...Tomorrow December 1...(dahh after the last day of the month, the first of the next, will begin obviously )...throw-up-hands-in-the-air...comprehension, only 24 shopping and prepping days left till the big day 'Christmas'.

In my family that means it is time again to get ready for the big Safari; the hunt for that most elusive and rarest of creatures: the perfect Christmas tree.

What does the perfect Christmas tree look like, you ask? I've been interviewing some prominent personalities. According to Charlie Brown the right look is a lop-sided-sparse-branched small tree.

The Grinch commented "no-tree at all", was the perfect specimen.

I'm not sure how many people would be able to accommodate a Rockefeller size beauty (sample on display in New York).

Then you could always opt to carve your own Norwegian Spruce out of card-stock ' a la Martha Stewart'.

My famous daughter is forever hunting and secretly hoping to recapture the 10foot tall 'Big-Bertha-esque' no space between branches, long needled one of six years ago. My equally renowned Son-in-law has proclaimed the isosceles triangular look is in [ two sides are equal triangle (according to wikipedia) I had to look it up].

My influential Son preferred to start with an extremely tall prototype and while testing his new chainsaw, to end up with a branch or two. (but then maybe the chainsaw was faulty and really wasn't a chainsaw at all but a matchstick factory in disguise).

In recent years I've been searching for the alternative. The tree in a pot. Although they don't come very tall, four feet the most, still a hopeful candidate for replanting in the garden in the spring. Looking outside the window, I can see last years skeleton, which I left in, hoping against hope it would smarten-up and revive itself. Hmmm, from this vantage point,, it kind of looks lop-sided-sparse-needled with a slight brown tinge (actually there is a 1inch branch-lette at the base that has an obvious green hue... could it be? No, I was mistaken, it's just grass...)

Now my illustrious younger daughter preferres our Christmas tree to be 71/2 feet tall, silver pine (to give the star enough room as our ceiling is 8'), not too prickly, decorated with all the angels she mass produced at age eight, nine, ten... Fragile silvery blue balls, tiny wicker baskets, and silver spirals mingled amongst her year dated special pieces of decoration.

It's obvious we're not getting very far, everyone has a different idea of the perfect Christmas tree. As time-is-a-wasting-away we need to get to the wilderness of the local tree farm.

Only twenty or so minutes from here is the Santa approved perfect spot. Acres and acres of Christmas trees of every type and size imaginable.

To the left of the parking 'field' are the already cut trees for the 'in the hurry customers'. To the right, the entrance to the winter wonderland. Past the gate, trail signs point to Santa's workshop, old fashioned Candy-land, make your own dipped Candle-station and the Craft-village. To prevent starvation it is only a short hike to the hand-cut fries, chili-dogs, beef-on-a-bun and for the sweet tooth candy-apples, cotton-candy and the decorate your own gingerbread person counter.

Across the walk-way horse-drawn wagons will convey every hopeful 'hunter' and family. All of us are dressed in layers. From thermal long-johns to the essential hats, mittens and scarves we're all decked out in the brightest of red, gem like blue and emerald 'camouflage' winter gear. After all we're a tough bunch, armed with sharpened saws or small hatchets.

The Safari is on, beware you perfect tree you will not escape. This is the one, this one here, no the needles are too long, this is this one is better, no this side is flat...too short...too skinny...too perfect...blessed are you lucky few who has the whole family agreeing on THE perfect Christmas tree.

There really is no such thing as a wrong Christmas tree. If in your family the tradition was the Douglas Fir, or the Scots pine your eyes will search that type out. I'm all gung ho about living green, and am a little ashamed to admit that the 'real' Christmas tree is one tradition I'm not willing to give up on. Naturally there is nothing wrong with an artificial tree. I just would be very saddened if we, the whole gang, were not to gather at the tree farm, were not having that total just family day. I would miss seeing my granddaughters laughing eyes, sprinting from one area to the next from one tree to the other, the cold red checks...the anticipation for that special holiday.

Guess what folks December 1st, the count-down starts...Merry hunting to you all...and may you all find that perfect tree and most of all may you all have that perfect day out with your loved ones...



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