As a newlywed couple, our first tree had to be perfect. We lived in New York City and drove 2 hours to a tree farm. We spent over an hour walking around the farm looking for a perfectly shaped tree. My sweet husband was oh so patient with his new wife. When I finally found the perfect tree, he cut it down and dragged it to our car. And then it started to snow! How perfect! Even Hallmark couldn’t have scripted the scene any better. We tied the tree tightly to the roof of my little blue Ford Maverick. As we got ready to leave, we realized we had tied the tree to the roof by putting the rope through the open car door windows. Yes, we had tied the doors shut. We laughed as we crawled through the windows to get into the car. We sang Christmas songs as we drove home with a chilly winter wind blowing through our open windows. We loved that tree.
We repeated this ritual for many years. Of course, we got smarter about how we tied the tree to the car. We even went to a tree farm when we moved to Texas and had children. But somehow, the romance wasn’t there anymore. For one thing looking for a Christmas tree in shorts and a t-shirt doesn’t have the same feeling. Small children don’t really get the concept of picking the perfect Christmas tree. They get bored quickly. And my heart sank when the tree farmer put our tree on a big shaker machine, shaking all the dead needles from the tree. It just wasn’t right.
In December of 1988 we moved into a new house. I was stressing out wondering how I would have the house organized and decorated by Christmas. Then one day the Lands’ End catalog came in the mail with fresh cut trees from Maine for sale. Could it be? Could the perfect Christmas tree come from a mail order catalog? I took a leap of faith, and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been getting mail order Christmas trees ever since.
When we moved again in 2000 our old house did not sell as quickly as we had hoped. When Christmas arrived we found ourselves in our new house, with most of our furnishings left behind in our old house for staging. Because our living room was empty, I made the decision to put the Christmas tree in the kitchen. It was a bit unorthodox, and I had to convince the rest of the family that it just didn’t make sense to put the tree in an empty living room. A funny thing happened that Christmas. We found we actually enjoyed having the tree in the kitchen. As a family, we spend most of our time together in the kitchen. Every morning and evening as we sat around our table for meals, we enjoyed our tree. To this day, we still set up the tree in our kitchen.
The last two years our tree came from Sugar Plum Farms in North Carolina. Their tree was the freshest and longest lasting tree we have ever had. Here are some pictures of this year’s perfect tree.