The Great Christmas Tree Hunt
🚙 🧔🏾 It all began with my Dad and a trip to my grandparents property which held a fairly good number of pine trees. We only had real trees for Christmas so the scent of that pine is firmly planted in my psyche. We could hardly wait for the day Dad would make the trip. That’s right. For many years this was a Dad only outing which made the excitement that much greater. We hemmed and hawed about what he would bring home. Would the tree be tall enough? Would it be able to fit inside our front door? Would the branches be full enough (no half-starved looking tree would do). We never knew exactly when Dad would go on the hunt.
🌲 🪓 What we didn’t know until we were grown was the fact that Dad started the search weeks before Christmas to find the perfect tree. By the time he actually went out with his ax he’d already determined his target.
👨🏾🚒 We’d watch him come down the hall in his work jacket, go out to the storage shed to retrieve his ax and load it in the trunk of our car to make the trip. Since this was the only time I ever saw my Dad with an ax I always worried that he might have an accident while cutting the tree. However, I assured myself that he would be alright and focused on watching for his return with his prize.
😆😆😆 The whooping and hollering that occurred when we’d hear the car pull into the driveway was epic. Dad always managed to either tied the tree into the trunk or secure it to the roof of the car. I can say that our celebrations would have been great competition for any super bowl Sunday crowd. I know it drove our mother crazy but we would all come running from wherever we were in the house or yard and leap and dance around our dad like we were crazy. He never seemed to mind. In fact the smile on his face at the joy he saw in the eyes of his children said it all. He loved being our Dad!
🐜 Next, the excitement moved to the backyard where the tree had to be sprayed for bugs and trimmed of any branches that were too long and cut at the bottom to fit into the base. At times Mama would have to shoo us away so Dad could finish his work but finally all was done and the tree was brought in with as royal a procession as we could muster and planted in the living room in front of our picture window.
🎄 Then it was time to bring out the lights and ornaments that would adorn the tree. These were the days of chunky colored bulbs and thin metal ornaments that seemed to break all too easily. However we learned over time to handle this job with great care and attention to detail. Once everything item had been checked and unusable items discarded,we were ready to begin the trimming of the tree.
🎅🏿 👼🏾 Dad always started with the lights (he was the only one who could do this job without getting tangled in a thousand wired knots!) Then what followed was a flurry of ornament arrangements and oohs and ahhs as Christmas magic began to take shape around our tree. Someone turned on the record player boosting a bevy of Christmas carols.
🎶🎵🎶 We all began to sing along in harmony as singing together as a family was a favorite past time. Mama started dinner knowing our busy hands would soon be replaced by empty tummies ready for a hot meal. Little by little the room was transformed from the place we gathered to talk and watch tv into a fairy land of lights, color and dreams of Santa on the way. As we completed our task we all stood back and stared in awe at what we had accomplished.
🙏🏾 And in that silence Dad began to pray a prayer of thanksgiving for his family and in sacred remembrance of the magnificent birth of a little child who gave the greatest gift of all!
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