I know it's the holidays when the family goes to Swenson's tree farm. There we enjoy a coffee and head into the woods with a saw, searching for the perfect Christmas tree.
No plastic trees for us. We leave the tiny trees for Charlie Brown. We have a high, sloping living room ceiling so we hunt for the biggest tree for maximum Christmas fun.
"You sure it will fit in the house?" Amanda asked three years ago as we beheld a glorious large spruce.
"Of course! Ceiling's crazy high!" I said.
Amanda kept our young daughter at a safe distance while I sawed and sawed.
At last the tree fell. A man helped me carry it out. A minor design flaw in my pickup meant insufficient room in the bed for the entire tree, but that didn't stop us!
At home, Amanda and I endured the prickly needles and struggled to push the tree upright in the stand.
Well, it was almost upright. "Huh." I frowned at the top of the tree crunched up against the ceiling.
"I guess it's 12 feet at its highest, but slopes down closer to 10 near the windows. Hold it! I'll get my trimmer!"
"Hurry," Amanda said. "It's really heavy."
After lopping two feet off the top, the tree stood right up!
"It's so wide," Amanda said. "We can't even walk in here now."
"Easy fix!" I did a little cutting, some reshaping. "Perfect!"
Never had I been so grateful for hardwood floors as when the sap began to rain down from that tree.
Oh, that Christmas tree was majestic. It was a battle to set it up, but the branches, needles, most of the sap, and Amanda's frustration over the whole mess was eventually behind us. The fun family memories will last forever. ♦
Trent Reedy is an author of several novels for young people including Words in the Dust, the Divided We Fall trilogy and Gamer Army. He lives with his family in the woods outside of Cheney and absolutely loves Christmastime in Spokane.