On a Sunday just like this, with the first snowfall of the year turning everything into a winter wonderland, Erich and I got our first Christmas tree together — and my very first real Christmas tree.
As exciting as it is to watch my dad pull out fake branches from a battered cardboard box and fit each branch to the right color-coded spot…I’m in love with the real Christmas tree experience.
We went to a family tree farm up in Grafton, WI. It was a small, homey farm. College boys dressed in Santa hats and puffy coats stood around a bonfire, waiting to net and load up trees. Santa sat inside an old, wood stable, just in front of a free hot cocoa bar. The ladies at the register wore elf hats, gave us shots of Jameson whiskey, and made us kiss under their mistletoe (twice, because the first kiss, they said, wasn’t good enough).
As for the tree itself, we picked out a Balsam fir, a six footer without too many awkward gaps. Erich threw down the tarp, handed me the saw, and told me I got to cut down our first Christmas tree ever. It was easier than I expected, even with kneeling at an odd angle and sawing with no visibility of the tree trunk.
All the way back to the bonfire of Santa-hatted college guys, I couldn’t stop pestering Erich: “We got a real tree! A real tree!”
It’s been my Christmas dream to cut down a real Christmas tree with the weather as wintry perfect as this, and this experience didn’t disappoint!
(Of course, I forgot to bring my phone, and Erich’s phone died, so we didn’t get any photos of the hot cocoa or Santa or mistletoe or me twirling around in the snow. We’re bad at documenting special moments.)
So what’s the verdict for your family? Real or fake?