December 07, 2015

Hand Saws and Other Christmas Cheer


I don't know if things in the world were always this shitty, but it seems like the news is getting shittier and shittier by the day.

So this post isn't about that. This post is a completely non-controversial, non-shitty post about Christmas trees.

You see, my parents get a live Christmas tree every year. And when we were younger, we were very Clark Griswold about it: my parents would throw their (often reluctant) children in the back of our red Ford Astrostar so we could drive to the local "Christmas Tree Farm." (I.e., the really big hill in the middle of nowhere covered in Fraser furs.)

We took the whole thing quite seriously: we were equipped with astronaut-level cold weather gear (thanks Mom) and were often met with dangerous wildlife. (And by that I mean squirrels.) It was all very dramatic.

Once we got there, my dad would grab one of the free hand saws near the bottom of the hill, and then he'd release his elves. Upon our release, my brother and sister (Nathan and Samantha) and I would sprint through the trees until one of us found "the one."

The kid who found "the one" would celebrate triumphantly and the other kids would mope, and then my mom would make us take a picture in front of the tree, and we'd all mope. My dad would then lie on the ground and start sawing away at the stump, hoping to God that my mom wouldn't let the tree fall on him.

We'd all dance around my dad (who was carrying the tree) until we reached the bottom of the hill, where my parents would wait in line to get the tree tied up, and Nathan, Sam, and I would get free coloring books and hot chocolate from the ladies at the cash register.

Now, that sort of stopped around the time Nathan started getting taller than the tree. It's not that we don't appreciate coloring books anymore; it's just that the family is now rarely together before Christmas and don't have time for such spectacles. 

This year though, my family was all together the day after Thanksgiving. So for the first time in about ten years, all of the Clarke children (and Derrick) were able to storm a Christmas tree lot in search of "the one."

Only this time, Nathan was 6'7" and I was the one forcing family pictures on us. But it was just as not-shitty as when I was seven.

And best of all, it reminded me that there's still a lot of good out there in the world, despite what Facebook tells ya.