Traditions. Traditions are everything to me. They are something to count on, something to look forward to…
Clifford hates my traditions. All of them. Every time I mention one, I get flack and pushback and whining and groaning … He eventually caves, even though he still doesn’t want to be involved. And isn’t that really all we want, ladies? We just want them to want to be involved. But I digress.
I want to share about the grand tradition of Christmas Tree hunting. Every year since we’ve been married, we travel about an hour to a tree farm somewhere in North Georgia. You can read about last year’s experience at the tree farm here.
We go the Sunday before Thanksgiving to beat the rush and have the best pick. This year with work, and family obligations, I didn’t think we’d be able to do it. And I knew Clifford would be searching for any excuse to not get the tree. Work and family obligations are pretty sound excuses. Then I saw there would be a small window of opportunity … if the stars aligned just right, we could get our tree on that Sunday just as tradition dictated. Till I saw there was 100% chance of rain. Oh, he is so not going to get the tree now …
Sunday morning arrives. Clifford is eating his breakfast, and I’m sending some emails when he says, “So what? We aren’t getting the tree today then?”
I swear I heard music playing in some far off place and saw light emanating from behind his head. My husband, Mr. Anti-Social-Tradition-Hater himself, was putting it out there … he wanted to get the tree.
“Really?” I asked with doe-eyed surprise. Hope and expectation began filling my hardened little heart. “It’s raining. I didn’t think you’d want to go.”
“We don’t have to go. I thought it was tradition or something. When it comes to traditions, rain, sleet, snow, whatever, right?”
OMG. This was not happening. He was in. And it was kind of his idea. Seriously? Seriously.
I immediately sprang to my feet, ran upstairs to put on weather appropriate attire, threw on my rain jacket, grabbed an umbrella and was ready to go. The rain was at least down to a drizzle. This was our window and our moment to have our Christmas tradition upheld.
We hopped in his truck and headed out. Like I said, the Kinsey Family Farm is about an hour away. We laughed and joked in the car, which is one of my favorite things about doing stuff like this together. As we turned onto the highway, the rain started coming down a little harder. And then a little harder. And then it became a total monsoon all the way to the farm. We had to be the only people in all of Atlanta driving an hour to a tree farm just to cut down a tree that day – it was that bad.
We pulled into the farm and were the only ones there. Clifford and I were pumped. There’s just something about being the only ones braving tropical storm conditions just to cut down a tree. It gets your juices going. The staff couldn’t even believe what we were about to do. We’d driven an hour for this moment. It was going to be had.
It was so muddy, the tractor that drives people to the area for cutting couldn’t take us.
We were forced to walk all of the way across the farm to get to the trees that were ready to be taken home. We grabbed a saw and hit the road – laughing at probably one of the most ridiculous experiences we were about to share. I mean, who does this?
Clifford: “You brought an umbrella, right?”
Me: “Yep. Have it right here.”
Clifford: “You holding the umbrella over you doesn’t help me.”
Me: “Then you should have had me bring two.”
We hiked over a ¼ mile to the available trees. Clifford was completely soaked by the time we arrived. I kept pausing to take pictures and document our muddy wet journey – with my umbrella overhead, of course.
Me: “This is an adventure!!! I miss our adventures, Clifford. Why don’t we go on more adventures?”
Clifford: “Because in our adventures, I always end up with the short end of the stick.” – he eyed my umbrella.
We finally arrived and Clifford looked at me, rain dripping off his hood, “Let’s do this.”
So we began our hunt for the Geiselmayr Christmas Tree of 2014. This is no easy feat, mind you. My dad taught me to be picky. Not too bushy, not too thin, no holes, straight top, straight trunk … Rarely could one just stumble upon the perfect tree in a few minutes flat.
As we made our way up and down the mini mudslides, checking out each tree in our path, there came the BOOM. A crash of thunder, and a flash of lightning like five feet from us. Clifford and I looked at each other. Then we laughed. There we were, standing in puddles of water, surrounded by trees while holding lightning rods a metal saw and an umbrella next to our bodies. This wasn’t exactly a genius plan, I’ll admit, but we were having a ball.
We finally agreed on a tree.
Usually I hold it while he cuts it so when it falls, it doesn’t actually fall. Clifford got on the ground to prepare to saw away. I told him to hold up as I pulled out my iphone to take more pictures, documenting our grand adventure. The next thing I know the tree is hurtling to the ground. Clifford looks at me rather alarmed and with a furrowed brow.
Clifford: “What the hell? I thought you were holding the tree?
Me: “I thought you were pausing so I could take pictures of you about to cut the tree. Didn’t think you were actually cutting the tree.”
He rolled his eyes and dragged the tree through the mini forest to the tree stand.
And we hiked back up the hill towards the barn.
Couldn’t feel my fingers, there was more thunder and lightning, was totally soaked from head to toe, BUT this was one of the best tree hunting trips we’d ever had.
They had to drive a truck out to get the tree for us and offered us free hot chocolate for being such troopers. Troopers? Nah. It was just a tradition.
What traditions do you have this time of year? Anything that’s a total “can’t miss”? I’d love to know! Share it in the comments section below.