Guest writer remembers Christmas tree hunt as season's best tradition

Guest writer remembers Christmas tree hunt as season's best tradition

I've written several times already this year about holiday traditions. In this guest post, my coworker Kyle Harrington writes about her favorite tradition.

You might remember Kyle from the guest entry she wrote about being made-over at Sephora just before it opened in Champaign.


Christmas, for me, is really the most wonderful time of the year (so the song goes). And with the crisp, cold air which burns your nose when you take that first morning breath, come a multitude of fond memories which makes the painful nostalgia for simpler times so sweet.

Most of the Christmas memories I have center around our Christmas tree. Growing up in Maryland, my family would bundle up, my brother and I clothed so heavily we were reminiscent of the younger brother in "A Christmas Story," and we would head to the Christmas tree farm. We would spend hours searching for the perfect tree. Not overly full, so the ornaments were forced to lay on its bulk. Not too many bare spots.

Beautiful, tall, majestic Douglas firs. Blue-tinted Frasers. The heavy scent of pine. Mittens covered in sticky, brown resin. Tired, sore and cold, trekking through snow covered forests.

Inevitably, we would realize that the first tree we saw was by far the best, and in the dimming winter light, would watch it fall to become, always, the most beautiful tree we have ever had.

Egg nog was poured, the smooth sound of Nat King Cole sang from speakers, and together, we would decorate. Carefully unwrapping delicate music boxes and snow globes. Arguing about the straightness of the tree, the prettiest side. Proclaiming favorite ornaments. All the time building new memories from the old.

We have since grown up. What was once a treasured time in our lives has been interrupted by marriages, friends, school and the responsibility that comes with age. But, any discussion of the purchase of a fake tree by my parents causes an extreme sense of horror. They may see it as an easier and less troublesome route to take. I can only think of it as the destruction of tradition. My favorite tradition.

For me, these are the stuff memories are made of.


Photo is from this website.

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algon wrote on December 02, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Kyle -- what a wonderful memory. I can just picture you as a little tyke bundled up.

Unfortunately, I don't have quite the same rose-colored memory, though our family, too, trudged through the tree farm looking for the perfect tree. Our family experienced the Christmas spirit in the form of loud arguing over which tree to pick, cursing while we tried to cut the blasted thing down, and then the lovely familial exchange while we tried to get the tree through the front door and then securely in its stand.

Don't even ask about the year that SOMEONE made a major miscalculation regarding the size of the tree, and the couch spent the Advent season in the kitchen. Truly, that tree could have shined as the Rockefeller tree.

Ahhhh, warm memories.

Kyle Harrington wrote on December 02, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Oh, don't let me fool you, there were plenty of tears, complaints, curses and a vivid memory of my mother's of me accidentally rolling down a snow covered hill in full snowsuit regalia. But, I find as we get older, these memories seem a little rosier and not as miserable as they did at the time. Nostalgia has a funny way of doing that.