Oh Christmas Tree

Finding a Perfect Christmas Tree

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I absolutely love putting up the Christmas tree! First when we were married, Paul and I would go out into the woods and hunt all day for the perfect native spruce.

I will never forget our first Christmas tree. We had just been married  and like most newlyweds, we were still working on furnishing our first home. We didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on a fancy artificial tree, which, to our way of thinking, lacked in the aesthetics department with the absence of the outdoor fresh piney smell.

So, out we drove over the Trans Canada Highway, searching for a suitable centrepiece for our first Christmas together. The sun was warm on our backs on that perfect winter day, throwing sparkles onto the blanket of newly fallen snow as we hiked a country trail under a clear blue sky, towing our battered toboggan. A couple of hours in, we hadn’t found a suitable specimen and I was starting to get discouraged. It wasn’t that I was being overly picky, but every tree we considered had some imperfection, either a misshapen bough, a crooked trunk, or else it was too sparse, too thick, or it was a funny colour. We stopped for a
“mug up” when we came to the edge of a frozen pond, and while Paul lit a fire in his Kelly kettle to make some tea, I was scanning the tree line from my perch on a convenient nearby rock. It was hard to see the trees individually, because, as anyone who knows the Newfoundland landscape could tell you, the trees grow thick as thieves. My gaze wandered to a small grove of trees growing close to the edge of the pond. The way the sun shone down on its snow topped branches made it glow almost as if were lit by a light from within. The shape was perfectly symmetrical, each branch perfectly spaced.  It was as if it had been made for us to find.

We brought it home and although the number of decoration on it were few, it was the perfect Christmas tree in our eyes.  Thirty years later, when we get out the boxes of ornaments we have collected each year since that first Christmas, we treasure each memory as we find a special place for each one.  I have made a special box for our daughter, to collect the ornaments that Santa leaves for her in her stocking, so that one day, when she leaves home, she will bring with her a box of special memories of her childhood to begin her own family tradition.

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