The perfect Christmas tree

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 12/23/19

The snow has fallen and most folks have already completed their Christmas decorating and shopping. Families are wrapping presents and putting the final touches on the tree. Many flock to events like …

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The perfect Christmas tree

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The snow has fallen and most folks have already completed their Christmas decorating and shopping. Families are wrapping presents and putting the final touches on the tree. Many flock to events like holiday concerts, caroling and church cantatas. In theme with the season, I will now impart to you festive readers a perfect Christmas story in which nothing at all goes wrong….

A key part of the Christmas holiday is getting the Christmas tree. While some choose to go artificial, I feel that with a family name like Hill, we are sort of obligated to venture forth into the wild to harvest a tree each year. 

That was the intention. 

December 1st came and went with hardly a wave hello; between work and other obligations, not to mention rifle season, my wife and I quickly realized our opportunity for getting a tree was waning. You see how this perfect story is going so far? 

Heading into the weekend of the 14th, we made a plan and truly thought we had things figured out. Then tragedy struck. I work at a school, and just before the weekend, a nasty bug found its way through the staff and students. Unaware of why I was increasingly hot and achy as I completed the workday on Friday, I awoke on Saturday to a temperature of 103. This lovely condition endured for the following 48 hours until the weekend was officially lost. Sacrificed in its destructive wake was the final day of rifle season, two church cantata performances I was supposed to perform in and, last but not least, going out for the family Christmas tree.

Parents out there are probably going to understand our level of compromise and rationalization at this point. With essentially only a week until Christmas, we weren’t being picky anymore. My wife recalled Wal-Mart having had Christmas trees for sale for a decent price. Not only that, but they had mini trees which would be all the more manageable given the fact that we still hadn’t cleaned the house from a weekend of being under the weather.

All right, men—judge me. I rolled up to that superstore, and I grabbed the tag off of one of those two-foot tall pines, paid for it and threw it in the trunk with the accomplishment one feels when compromising from a Camaro to a Prius at the rent-a-car lot.

The ensuing car ride home resulted in the following thoughts from my wife and me as we did that thing couples do when they want to feel better about a joint decision they’ve made out of desperation:

“It’s Rorick’s first Christmas, so the tree will be the perfect size for him since he’s still only nine-months old.” 

“It’ll be safer this way, because he won’t be able reach the tree on the table where we’ll put it.” 

“We don’t have that much room in the living room anyway, now we won’t have to move the furniture around like last year.”

We made it home, and I manned up and carried our tremendous tree into the house. Part of me felt this must be emasculating to the tree: to be carried in like a dead rabbit, as opposed to being crammed through the doorway like a bull moose whose antlers reach out and take down the nearby photos hanging on the walls.

So there’s my perfect Christmas story. I’d like to say, “The way out here, we men go forth into the wilderness and chew down a 12-foot tree like a beaver and carry it 10 miles home just for the fun of it.” But honestly, the way out here means you take care of your family and make sure you give ‘em a good Christmas no matter what that means for your pride. That being said, I can see some good old-fashioned hiking and sawing in my boy’s future. 

Merry Christmas to all my readers, and a Happy New Year too. 

God Bless, and I’ll see you all in 2020.

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