Hunting the Perfect Tree

My childhood involved a seasonal job; my cousins and I cut and sold Christmas trees grown on my granddad’s farm, which surrounded our homes. I have fond memories of bundling up to stay warm for the 1/2 mile hike, carrying the saw and helping the ‘town folks’ pick out trees. We’d cut them if they couldn’t do it, and we’d drag them back as well, or pull them behind a snowmobile.

Once we moved to Ohio, we were able to drive back to western Pennsylvania to what is now my uncle’s tree farm. It was a nostalgic trip for me to have the same experience with my kids that I had years ago.

Now in Virginia, we try to continue the tradition. Saturday we had a three hour window where everybody was home at the same time, so we jumped in the Suburban and drove to one of the local tree farms.

The walking begins, all eyes peeled for the perfect evergreen. We were disappointed over and over; so many of the trees were tinged with yellow. No doubt this is due to the drought we have been experiencing…

Sydni, gorgeous in any setting.

“This is NOT the tree we want!”

“But I LOVE this one!”

We finally settled on a specimen we all agreed upon (no doubt spurred on by 30 minutes of aimless wandering) and starting sawing. Our tradition is that everybody gets a turn, starting with the youngest. David got us off to a good start…

…then it was Daniel’s turn…

Syd’s turn, while I made faces…

David decided that Shannon needed some encouragement…

Sarah put down the camera and took a turn herself.


I took my turn and the tree started to fall; Shannon grabbed the saw and got all the photographic glory!

Ta da!

Daniel and David got the ‘privilege’ of hauling it back to be measured and paid for.

I think that over time, these brothers are learning to appreciate one another, especially when they are working together. I’m proud of these boys.

We tried to take a snapshot for a Christmas card; I love candid shots for the holidays. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that all these pictures relate a happy family outing, tempers were short and moodiness ran rampant. With three teenage girls in the family and a 40+ mother, you never quite know how things might roll. We did attempt to take a few ‘happy family’ shots, but this was about the best of the lot.

I might just send it anyway; there’s something so gosh-darned authentic about it…
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5 Comments

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  1. LOVE that photo Beth! What a great adventure to all participate in finding “the” tree. :c)

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  2. It IS authentic and I think you should use it. It will make people smile.Choosing a Christmas tree is so much fun. I’m glad everyone agreed.

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  3. OK……the picture of you in the blue bandanna IS PRETTY SCARY!!!The shot of the kids is divine….Kinda remindme of the Greatest Christmas Pagent Ever story with the Herdmans! I’m with Mary….USE THE SHOT!

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  4. Haha! That last photo reminds me of our Christmas tree excursions. In Oregon, we always cut our own tree and in Germany, the tradition continues. Good thing there’s a fir tree farm close by, otherwise we’d be forced to put up one of those sad plastic trees…

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  5. That’s a great photo. Authentic is good.

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