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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We always get our Christmas tree the same weekend every year when we go home for our father’s birthday. He wears the same hat, jacket and gloves that he’s been wearing to get the tree since we can remember and it all has a comfortable theme of tradition and stability running through it. There have been some notable changes over the years with new people (ahem, men) joining our tree-picking ranks, and this year my parents decided to really shake things up – inspired, I think, by our apple picking ritual – took us to do what I’m calling the “choose and chop.” Maybe your family already does this every year, but for us, it’s a relatively new introduction into the tree routine (we’ve only chosen and chopped once before for Christmas at my aunt’s when I was a tween). Naturally, neither M nor I actually did any of the chopping, but we were onlookers and moral support for our dad who chopped and our men who carried the tree.

The day was glorious and cold, the first truly cold day this year. We were far away from city noises and prices (trees were $25 vs $75 at my local tree stand!), and we thoroughly enjoyed romping through the CNY mud in search of the 2011 tree. We landed on a Balsam fir that we later discovered has a crooked trunk, but no matter. Eggnog and Christmas music accompanied the ritual decoration process chez nous and both of us were in holiday high-gear by the time we left. Here’s to hoping you get to choose, chop and decorate your tree this year (if not all, then at least some combination of those!) with your besties, be they friends or family. And please, make sure to spike the ‘nog – rum, brandy, whisky, cognac, pick your poison – just spike it.

Here are some photos from our adventure along with some ridiculous tidbits that were heard on the Christmas tree farm and can be attributed to various members of our party:

G: “We should call it the annual tree massacre… Christmassacre.” M’s hubby is hilarious and had lines for every activity all weekend (including the Republican debate in Iowa). 

A: “Are these trees organic?” Yes, I did realize how ditzy that sounded after the fact.

With the winner!

A: “Mud is kind of fun if you have the right footwear.” Our men both responded with the same retort: “I think that’s the first natural element of dirt or mud those boots have come into contact with so far.” Now properly countrified city slickers are Hunter (left on M) and Le Chameau (right on me).

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