How to Purchase a Fresh Cut Christmas Tree

Geek!This is Deb Nagy’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. When you can no longer come up with good excuses as to why you cannot go with your husband to pick out a Christmas tree, go to the closet, get hat, coat, gloves, winter boots, and when he is not looking, the flask in the liquor cabinet. Put the outer clothing on; fill the flask with Bailey’s Irish Crème.
  2. Be sure and check that one of your mindless romance novels, kept for excursions such as this, is in the car before the car pulls out of the garage. Get in the passenger side of the car.
  3. While pulling out of the driveway, politely sympathize and agree with your husband that, yes, this will be the last year that we purchase a fresh cut Christmas tree. After all, you agree that the artificial trees made today are so much better in quality.
  4. While opening your book to any page at all to start reading, comment to your husband that it does not matter where we go to get a Christmas tree. Suggest going back to the place we purchased last year’s tree. Try not to pay attention to the road, as it will probably be snowing, raining, and/or sleeting since that is apparently the only time your husband goes hunting for Christmas trees. Do not be insulted or take personally, that instead of taking your advice on where to purchase the tree, your husband decides to drive in the other direction and go to Menards where he heard a week ago that they had good deals on trees.
  5. After your husband parks the car at Menards and turns the engine off, keep a straight face and refrain from commenting when it is obvious that there are no trees for the taking. Do not comment when the young salesperson relates that most of the trees sold last week during the sale. Do not remind your husband that the same thing occurred last year. Keep to yourself the fact those 30 miles, no make that 60 miles, (round trip) out of your way, and almost an hour and has been wasted on a fruitless hunt for a Christmas tree. Agree with your husband that the remaining trees left are extremely overpriced.
  6. As your husband leaves the parking lot of Menards and turns south toward the tree farm in Brooklyn, do not smile, or comment. Remember he is not swearing at you. Agree with your husband when he says only crazy people are out today buying fresh cut trees. Appear to be deeply involved in your novel. When he suggests that it might be a good idea to check out the place in Brooklyn where we purchased last year’s tree, tell him you think that is a great idea.
  7. You have now arrived at the tree farm in Brooklyn and it appears that you pretty much have the place to yourself. Be sure to put your gloves on and button your coat before you leave the car. Make sure the flask is safely in your coat pocket.
  8. Spend the next half hour trudging through muddy snow, while walking through rows and rows of Christmas trees. When asked, hold the middle of the tree straight up so your husband can crouch down and make sure the tree is straight. This procedure will be repeated many, many times over the course of the afternoon. It is positively amazing how many trees do not grow straight. Now is a good opportunity to take a nip or two from the flask. The rows of Christmas trees provide a good deal of cover for you.
  9. When you have had enough of the mud and you have seen all the trees you care to see, retreat to the pole barn. Once inside go directly to the coffee urn and get yourself a Styrofoam cup. You will have a choice of instant hot chocolate or instant coffee. Both go well with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
  10. When your husband finds you in the pole barn, explain that you were losing the feeling in your toes. He now needs your opinion. Your husband has narrowed his choice of trees down to about three. He then asks you which tree you like. He does not really want your opinion but show your enthusiasm and make your choice. It will not really matter, as you will pick the wrong tree anyway. Marvel at his choice.
  11. Offer to make a hot chocolate or instant coffee for your husband before he starts his haggling over the price of the tree. This is his favorite part of this adventure. Since it is not your favorite, retreat to the car with your hot drink, settle yourself in the passenger seat, and locate the novel. If there were any Bailey’s left in your flask, now would be a good time to finish it off before your husband gets back to the car.
  12. With the haggling over and price agreed on, the tree wrapped and tied to the roof of the car, you are now ready for home. As the conversation returns to the high cost of trees, agree that this will be the last year for purchasing a fresh cut tree. After all, we must be crazy for wanting a fresh cut tree.
  13. Once home, retreat to the house – as this is where the real fun begins. After removing your outerwear, rinse out the flask and return it to the liquor cabinet downstairs. Return to the main floor where you will start clearing furniture out of the way. To bring the tree in through the front doors, work your way toward the foyer, moving the umbrella stand out of the way, and the small area rug away from the double doors.
  14. In the basement under the stairs, locate the tree holder and bring it upstairs. Bring along an old white sheet to use to catch needles that might fall into the carpet while bringing the tree in. Oh, that is right; your husband will not need it. He decides that is too cumbersome. Since you already know the routine, be sure to have the vacuum cleaner out and ready to use.
  15. You will need your gloves to hold and balance the tree in the holder while your husband is down on the floor screwing the tree in place. This procedure usually will last at least a half an hour. Quickly agree that, yes, they just might have switched trees at the last minute. The tree your husband chose was straight, not like the one that is trying to fall over in the stand. Remember he is not swearing at you.
  16. The tree is up and he turns it around to hide the area where there suddenly appears to be some type of gap. Again, it could have been the quick tree switch. It must now dry out for a day before trimming it. Vacuum the needles that have fallen on the floor.
  17. The next morning, coming downstairs, find your insomniac husband sitting in a chair waiting for you with a cup of coffee. It is still dark outside and he has hooked up the lights on the tree. No decorations yet, but you are hit with a kaleidoscope of colors winking at you. As you breathe in the smell of outdoors and fresh pine, you marvel at the beautiful site and the wonderful, outrageous man who is so pleased with his selection. As you sit beside him, you nod and agree that, yes, who could possibly think that an artificial tree could replace something as beautiful as this. After all, people who do not want a fresh cut tree must be crazy.