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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas


Yes, we finally got a tree. I am not quite coping with the fact Christmas Eve is on Monday. Besides my denial, we are on a crash course towards the Holiday. Today’s adventure, which we thought would be an easy half-day escapade, turned into an all day, grueling, frustrating, anticlimactic, anger-inducing marathon.


We really just started off on the wrong foot. Late in the game, obviously, and today was the last day to buy a permit from the Ranger Station. Since the one we were supposed to be getting for free never showed up in our Mail Box, it was a do or die day to get a tree. Plus I didn’t eat anything for breakfast. Everyone else did, but since Mom is the one getting everyone and everything ready to go, she didn’t get any. We took the advice of the ranger to stop at the first exit, since it was low in elevation and would have less snow on the road. Still, we spun all 4 tires. We got stuck turning around. We burned the clutch. We finally pivoted the car 180 degrees, leaving deep skidding marks all over the road. And it takes what feels like an hour to get kids in gear, the Rocket moved over so the tree will fit on the roof rack, snowshoes on, kids in packs, extra stuff back inside the car. Then we were off.


Off into a forest of Hemlocks. We went up. We went down. We went across. Hemlocks are not exactly Christmas Tree types of Trees. Young Hemlocks are wispy little things, with thin trunks you could snap in half. There were a lot of little ones. And a lot of big ones. Big as in 40 feet. Tallis cried, she was over it. Araiya whined, she wanted graham crackers and her car. I was in a bad mood. I wanted this to be easy. So we tromped back. Packed the kids in the car. Tallis fell asleep. Araiya had some graham crackers with cream cheese (so did I). I am near ready to hit up the Christmas Tree lot. Matt is still mad he paid $10.


Not willing to give up, because we are just too stubborn, we decide to head up higher in elevation. Higher might yield more species. We drive all the way up to the last exit before the Summit. Hang a right, following the little black lines on the poorly photocopied Ranger map we were given. We are aiming for the area on the map labeled “9-12 FOOT NOBLE FIRS”. We drive 100 feet from the freeway. ROAD CLOSED. So we stop. We look. We are about 5 miles from our destination delineated on our crappy little map. But we can see a variety of species beyond the gate. Do we hoof it? Tallis is still asleep. Matt and Araiya scope it out. Potential. Matt takes the saw and some rope, straps on his snowshoes, and heads off to fulfill his Manly duties of finding his family a Christmas Tree. Because we ARE NOT LEAVING WITHOUT CUTTING SOMETHING DOWN.


Tallis sleeps another 40 minutes. Araiya and I go sledding. And we build a snowman. Tallis gets stuffed into her pink puffy suit and comes out to ‘eat’ some snow food. We finally started having fun. Other people come to sled and throw snowballs. Finally, after what feels like 3 hours, Matt emerges back out from the woods dragging something green. Yes, it nearly passes as an acceptable Christmas Tree. Araiya starts shouting MY CHRISTMAS TWEE! MY CHRISTMAS TWEE!. I could care less, just put it on the car. Matt is all smiles. He sleds with Araiya. They both laugh. So much fun it’s like we’re pulling teeth to get her back into her car seat when we leave as it is getting dark.


We stop and get take ‘n bake Pizza on the way home. Papa Murphy’s cheezy breadsticks never tasted so good. Matt ended up having to cut an additional 3 feet of the tree. The thing looked smaller in the woods. Now it has lights. And ornaments. And it smells good. Araiya loves it. Although she is still mad she couldn’t bring her Snowman home.


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