So do you all remember my post last year on chopping down our Christmas tree? I talked about how hard and heavy it was and the way the tree kind of beat me up.
Well this year wasn’t as painful, but it was just as interesting.
So every year after Thanksgiving my family drives up to the mountains to chop down our Christmas Tree.
So some of you think that it seems like a ton of trouble but cutting down your tree is way better than buying it off the lot.
1) The permit to cut down a tree only costs $10. That means you can get as big a tree you want for only ten bucks! For instance we got a 13 foot tree for 5% of the cost of buying one from a lot.
2) Cutting down your Christmas tree is very good for the environment.
I know many of you have just read that and are probably saying to yourselves this girl is stupid, but just hear me out. You see trees grow in clumps and while that is a great thing as they share resources, protect each other, pollinate each other, etc. However, at times this can be bad. Sometimes trees grow too close together that they are unable to get their share. Often times one, or all, the trees will die as there isn’t enough to go around. Cutting down your own Christmas tree from one of the clumps means that one side might be a little thinner (you just aim that side in the corner) and it helps the other trees grow big and strong. Also periodically clearing out sections of trees protects them in the summer when there are threats of forest fires. And of course, this cutting isn’t a free for all. You can only cut from certain sections, therefore protecting a wider majority of trees. You also have restrictions on the tree size. Your trunk can only have a diameter of 6 inches and there is a restriction of high the stump can be. These regulations keep older trees protected, along with making sure people are not cutting off the tops and leaving the rest of the tree.
3) Cutting your own tree means that it will last longer. You see one of the biggest problems with tree lots is that these trees are cut at the end of November, shipped over to the city they will be sold, and hanging around on pavement until they are given a home. They are not getting the same TLC or water and a lot of them die really early, shedding tons of pine needles along the way. Now when you cut your own tree, it is nice and fresh and lasts much, much longer. As I said we always get our tree at the end of November and take it down at the end of January. We could keep it up longer, but usually by February we are packing up our Christmas stuff. Besides longevity, it also smells absolutely wonderful.
So this year we were gearing up to go, when we were called up by some friends of the family, the Nelsons. They’ve seen our trees and wanted one for themselves, so they asked to join us.
30 mins later, another family called, the Salamancas. They also wanted to join us, the more the merrier.
And not too long after that, the Hawkins called and wanted to come too.
So the next day, the day after Thanksgiving, we headed up the mountain caravan style. When we got there we got one big surprise. Snow!
Now you may recall me stating again and again how California has been in a drought the past few years. I mean, yes, we have had a few rainstorms but no one was expecting this. Of course when we saw it, we were all kinds of excited!
Now we may only be like an hour or so away from the snow, but where I live it never snows. It may get under 30 degrees, but if it does it will never rain.
We never get a white Christmas, the closest we ever come to it is a wet one.
And after like three years of going to the mountains and getting nothing, we finally had snow once again!
Of course I always dress for the snow, even when there isn’t anything, just because it is cold up there. But my family is the only one who was prepared that way. Everybody else had the wrong shoes, jackets, etc. Oops!
In fact there was so much snow that we weren’t even able to go to our usual tree cutting spot. The road was just covered in snow and black ice, in fact we almost got stuck at one point.
So we went back down the mountain, found a spot, and began the search for the perfect tree.
It was hard going, even harder than last time as the snow blinded us and made every tree look amazing. But upon closer examination, they were not quite what we wanted.
At one point it felt like we were never going to find it.
But then we found it. A beautiful 13-footer.
But then came the problem of cutting it down.
You see we had forgotten to bring the chain saw, and instead only had a regular saw. A saw which is very hard to cut down the tree with.
We all tried, but it was hard with that sap. However, thanks to our extra help we were able to get it down and to the road.
When we reached the road, we discovered we had walked really far away from our cars. So my dad went to get our truck while we waited.
Now by this time it wasn’t really snowing, but it had gotten colder and icy. The roads were completely covered in ice.
My dad drove down the hill, but when he tried to get back up to us, he almost got stuck in the side of the road as he started swirling off the road on the ice.
Luckily my dad was able to drive in reverse and get out of the ice so we could put the tree in the back of our truck.
When we got home it started raining, and we had to get our tree into the house in the wind, rain, and the dark. But it was all worth it. It looked absolutely beautiful when we put it up in our house and decorated it.
A absolutely beautiful tree.
For more on cutting down the Christmas tree, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
For more on White Christmas, go to Sisterly Roles
For more stories from my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen
So today’s Christmas Carol is not Winter Wonderland as let’s be honest, it’s not even really about Christmas. Instead today’s song is I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. The song was written by Irving Berlin and was sung by Bing Crosby, originaly in Holiday Inn, although at the time it was overshadoed by Be Careful It’s My Heart.
For me this wasn’t the first place I heard the song. The first time I was introduced to the song was in the Christmas special claymation, The First White Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow. In it one of the nuns, Sister Theresa, sings about how she misses the white Christmases from her hometown.
However my favorite version comes from the film Holiday Inn, the first film to showcase the song.
I think the way that Bing sings it in this film is much better than the way the group does it in White Christmas. In Holiday Inn it just sounds so much more personal and meaningful.
Plus I like that movie better.
For more on The First White Christmas, go to 25 More Films of Christmas
For more on Holiday Inn, go to the 25 Films of Christmas
For more Christmas carols, go to Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze, Welcome Christmas