Sunday, December 6, 2009


Contrary to the previous post, the family BR did not go Christmas Tree hunting last weekend. No, we saved that for today. Good thing too, since last weekend temperatures were in the 40's with little wind. This mornign, it was 30F with a 20mph wind. Ideal Christmas Tree hunting weather, since one does not get the full experience without the threat of frostbite thrown in for good measure.

We aren't hardcore enought to get a permit from the forest service and set off into the forest on the search. While their may be some sense of adventure involved, the trees that can be found in the wild tend to be a bit spindly. My brother-in-law routinely has to drill holes and glue extra branches on the wispy little sticks he brings home to Mrs. BR's displeased sister. Thanks, but I'll pay the extra $20 to avoid getting the eye, and being accused of stealing Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree.

The valley we live in is lined with tree farms, all vying for your business, all providing the opportunity to hack down the tree of your dreams. The choices can lead to sensory overload.

The first place we stopped in was rather proud of their trees, with prices starting at around $50 for a 5-6 ft member of the fir family. Apparently one is paying for the experience, what with an espresso stand on site, and the melodious sounds of Christmas music filling the air. We were greeted by cheerful young lady who spent two minutes reciting their list of "don'ts". Quite a few rules just for tree hunting. After listening rather dumbfounded to this, we stared briefly at their price list, and handed the saw back to the young lady. We avoided the phrase "highway robbery", although it certainly did cross our minds.

We loaded back up in the pickup and proceeded to our usual tree farm (which we should have done in the first place). Any size Douglas Fir for $30. No music, no latte stand, no cheerful young chippies reciting rules. Just acres of trees, and a saw. At this point, the adventure must be choreographed, since the chain events differs little from year to year. Off throught the foliage we go a trooping. Stopping to admire numerous trees. Of course, with seven people involved in the process, the odds are fairly good that each candidate will be vetoed by one or more. And, of course, periodically, one or more would become separated from the main body of the group. I can attest that "Marco" "Polo" works just as well at at tree farm as it does in the pool.

After a seeming eternity, our core body temperatures falling dangerously low, feeling lost in all extremeties, the Perfect Tree was located, and felled.

Of course, said Perfect Tree was located on the edge of the field as far away from the pickup truck as humanly possible. I'm not certain that we were still in the same county at this point. Fortunately, DN1 & DN2 brought their boyfriends along, and I didn't put up much of a struggle when these strapping young buck's volunteered to carry the tree.

The first warning sign of impending trouble should have been the fact that the tree hung about four feet past the end of the tailgate. But, mind numbed by the cold, I did not connect the dots at this point.

Arriving home, the tree was unloaded, placed securely in the stand, hauled into the living room, and placed upright. This is where the trouble began. It was touching the ceiling. Now, bear in mind that the vaulted ceiling tops out at 12 feet. And this tree was too tall! Cue the ominous music, as this is the point where I get grumpy, and tend to turn the air a little blue. The damn tree sure didn't look that big on the farm.

A brief side note. Two years ago, we had the tree wrapped in that plastic netting prior to loading it up. Makes it easier to get through the front door. After the tree was erected in the house, I took the scissors to the net. Those of you who recall the scene in "Christmas Vacation" when Art Griswold cut the twine from the tree will have a fairly good idea of what happened. It didn't break a window, but that is about the only difference.

After hacking about six inches of the bottom, and a foot off the top, the tree finally cleared the ceiling. After decorating was complete, I measured the distance from floor to top of the star at 10.5 ft. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Mrs. BR is, of course, taking great satisfaction in having snuck another Treezilla past me.
Tis the Season...

I may need to take that ceiling fan down...


Bag Blog said...

Wow! That's a big honkin' Christmas Tree! Back in our NM days, we used to do the forest permit thing and climb the mountain for a perfect tree. You are right, they look much smaller in the wild, but they are huge in your living room.

Christina LMT said...

I lurve it! I haven't had a Christmas tree in years...I think that needs to change.

Buck said...

That's a fine lookin' tree! But the story behind it is even better... at least as viewed from here. ;-)

Brings to mind an old war story, too. One of the last times I went tromping in the woods hunting for trees it was with my boss... a 1Lt.. and his wife. The Second Mrs. Pennington and I found our perfect tree fairly quickly, but the LT needed to find THE perfect tree. We'll cut to the chase here: the LT's wife, TSMP and I all tried to tell him his tree was waaay too tall, but noooo... Well, we get back to his place, take at least a foot off the top and another foot off the bottom and the result was more of a Christmas Hedge than a tree. Out it went, and off to the Christmas tree lot HE went... All was well that ended well.

Rude1 said...

LOL! I just hope you don't have Cousin Eddy show up in his RV BR!

My best Christmas tree story involves a bunch of young airmen overseas for their first Christmas, mucho alcohol, a saw and pine trees along the drive way to the Officers Club...

I'm not sure why we thought the Security Police couldn't follow the trail back through the snow to our dorms...

Ahhh youth. :)

Buckskins Rule said...

Lou: This tree didn't look nearly as big as turned out, that's for certain.

Christina: I don't get into the Christmas spirit until the tree is up. Although getting to that point is a bit of an ordeal.

Buck: That brings to mind the vision of the Griswold's tree tied to the top of the family truckster.
"Christmas hedge". Heh!

Rude: Regarding cousin telling, I do have some distant relations in Montana.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is one huge tree. Do you check them for squirrels and such before you bring them in?

Buckskins Rule said...

Laura, I didn't think to check for rodents. I'm sure any wayward animal would be mauled by one of the Alaskan Malamutants, however.