Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Saturday, November 30, 2013

In search of the wily Christmas tree

When I was a kid, Dad would load me and my three brothers into the jeep and go up to our cabin to find a Christmas tree.  This usually involved getting the jeep stuck in the snow at least once and having to use the winch to pull it out.  And I remember one time when the cable broke and we all hiked 7 miles through the snow to the fish hatchery to get help.  I have never been a fan of snow since that time.  Usually our tree was lopsided or had a hole in one side or was too skinny or too fat.  Mom should have come along so she could pick a good tree, but she had learned to hate snow just as much as I did.  I am now a great fan of neatly groomed tree farms in lower elevations where the snow does not go.  This is where Kyle and I went yesterday.  There's still the search for the "Right" tree - be it noble fir or douglas fir or spruce.  Be it short or tall or thin or fat.  The size is often dictated by the space we can create for it.

After we (I) have selected the perfect tree, Kyle cuts it down and we transport it to the  shed where they put it on a machine that shakes much of the debris and most of the small animals free from the branches.
 Then it goes through the baler to make it easier to transport.  Trees in bondage - for the kinky among you.  The trees sold commercially were cut, shaken and baled in Early November to be shipped all over the US and the world.  When baled, they are easier to stack in the big metal containers for trucking and train transport.
We then tie the tree onto the top of the car and bear it gleefully home.  The day after Thanksgiving is our traditional day for decking the house for Christmas.  Kyle sets up the tree, and I drag out the boxes and go mad with joy.   This year, we needed to get a small tree because the only place we can squeeze it in is next to the front window, behind the sofa.

I developed my decorating technique when I was in college.  The technique involves putting on the lights first, then hanging every ornament you own on the branches, going out and buying two more boxes of colored glass globes, then fabricating more ornaments from aluminum foil, colored paper and glue, popcorn, and finally hanging spare bits of jewelry up because they were shiny!  Our tree is much more sedate now.

Sedate little tree squeezed between sofa and treadmill.

You may notice cement blocks down by the floor.  We boosted the tree up on a table top to show better through the window.  Ben adores hiding under the table.

I don't think the cats know that Christmas trees can be climbed.  They sniff the branches suspiciously, then run through the house like a two cat posse.  What is it about that fresh pitch aroma?
Another tradition I have is my little creche.  I keep adding to it.  The animals now include a felted sheep, a plastic sheep and cow that "poop" tiny brown jelly beans, a rubber duckie with a stocking hat, two porcelain kitties, and a wooden kitty.  Also, Jolly St. Nick and a Geisha have joined the party.  In my house, EVERYONE gets to celebrate!

What traditions do you follow?


  • At 3:12 PM , Blogger Delighted Hands said...

    Very pretty little tree! We usually put ours up (artificial) today but we went to a antique car show with friends instead-very different for us but we had fun!

  • At 7:19 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Oh! It's so lovely-- I don't even resent the fact that you're all set up for Christmas and I'm nowhere near! And let me know if you find any extra small animals in your tree-- just sayin'-- that could be an adventure.

  • At 7:41 PM , Blogger Rose L said...

    I have opted to have a pre-lit fake tree this year. It will be easier for me and not as hard to clean up afterwards. I will choose a few ornaments of my favorites gathered through the years.
    Since my life has changed dramatically over the years, I do not seem to have many traditions anymore. I may put up some of my Santa's and nativity scenes. I shall see how it goes.

  • At 5:20 AM , Blogger Saren Johnson said...

    Lovely tree!

  • At 8:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I simply adore your nativity additions. Did you make the face on the Christmas ball hanging from your tree? It reminds me of one of the girls' favorite Dr. Who aliens. Your tree is perfect! This year a local tree farm donated leftover trees to military members. Said trees are available for pick up this weekend at Camp Withycombe (which I think is in Canby). Brian has drill, so I'll be taking which ever teenagers are willing to peacable go and picking up our sacrificial arborvae for the season. December is flying by at an alarmingly fast pace. Love your Christmas letter. So witty and punny!

  • At 5:00 AM , Anonymous Christmas Tree Bag said...

    When I was a kid, Dad would load me and my three brothers into the jeep and go up to our cabin to find a Christmas tree. This usually involved ...


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