Sunday, December 10, 2006

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Yesterday we went on our yearly pilgrimage to Glenbranter, home of our local forestry commission and community. Every year they sell fresh Christmas trees of different types: Nordmann fir, Norway Spruce, Lodgepole pine and Scots pine. From the tiny 3ft to 23ft+ for town centre ~ the choices are endless. I have to note that the drive there alone is stupendous and with additional holiday music it really does feel quite festive.
Set in a forest of towering pine trees it has a real Narnia feel about it.
On the people-watching front the phychology of the place is also quite interesting. There are always the sideways glances of who is looking at what tree, the panic if someone looks at the tree you almost picked, etc.
Fathers and sons pick one up one tree after another as the wife and daughters get to select the choicest one. The mixed smells of pine, hot coffee, leather gloves, muddy boots and mince pies mingle with the laughter of children as they jump trees and puddles.
So we finally pick the tree. Considering the bay window at home we wanted one that was full towards the top and not too wide at the bottom. Although we have a larger living area, by the time the tree and other decorations are added it can become too busy. Anyway Melissa and l decided this was the one. The forestry worker had said it was 9ft and it did look grand.
Once wrapped and loaded on top of the car we were off home- a bit slower than usual as we didn’t want to loose pine needles along the way, or the tree for that matter.
However the hysteria began once we unloaded and brought the monster inside. With everyone in charge, screams and brute force we got it into launch position.
If trees could smile!
This was no 9ft tree!. Our ceilings are 12ft high and as the tree lurched to the vertical the top three feet whiplashed across the ceiling like the tail of the creature from that movie ‘Alien’. We all stood looking up at the lofty spire and the gouge across the ceiling. “I’ll go and get the ladder then” - Himself was undaunted.
I don't know if you've ever seen the movie, Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase but this -- was all too similar. Who would cut the netting and should we?

Going to get the tree is by far the best bit of Christmas for me. As for G., here is his take on the whole matter, worth the read and very funny.

More photographs to follow later :)
Hope you are all well.

‘lets go and get the tree today’
- she says over breakfast. Horror music and effects enter left. This an incantation to the hunt many men secretly dread and which quickly return them to the cave man knuckle grazing no forehead grump and grunt creature within seconds. Normally mild, inoffensive and pliable men peel off the veneer of submission to become whooping Neanderthals bent on ensuring the survival of their tribe. This is no mere purchase of a felled arboreal decoration but a call from the wild and a primeval survival ritual.
Looking the part is important to ‘tree man’. From the back of the cupboard are brought out the big boots (steel toes are good), heavy gloves(leather not pansy gardeny ones), a very big coat( white Arran sweater underneath for extra chest), woolly hat (fur trim and ear flaps if possible). Quietly practice low voice talking, lip curling and eyebrow lowering for later on. Putting on of the roof rack with associated scraped knuckles, screams and ritual swearing is completed with the essential hunting kit of ‘treeman’.
Big chopper (“in case it needs trimming’) and enough rope and elastic ties to circumnavigate the globe.
At the ‘place of trees’ the ‘chase to the kill’ of treeman proceeds with slow and grisly inevitability. Normally able to run in, grab the first thing in sight on other less fundamental acquisition expeditions is not allowed here. Each tree has to be vertically examined for its architecture and branch hanging qualities. The incantation is said – ‘lets have a good look around!’. The chant of the dance of death to the male hunter. It begins. This is when treeman, with other adjacent treemen enact the age old gesticulations of sideways looks, rapid lip curling and eyebrow lowering while making deep grunting noises intended to intimidate and scare off rivals for the best tree.
This can go on for some time if there are a lot of trees.
Eventually, with the selected tree cocooned in the plastic wrapping the ceremony can be concluded with the ‘loading onto the car’. But the worst is over and treeman is not threatened now. Elevated to supreme hunter status he can stand for a while with arms folded and a triumphant smirk as other hapless and wild eyed contenders arrive with trepidation for the ritual. This is the time for smug leering and chest puffing.
Job done.
Loading onto the car is a carefully co-ordinated shambles of scratched paintwork and curses but, for another year – the survival of the species is assured.
Once home the exhausted males collapse into the nest and may not emerge for some time.


UKBob said...

I'm wondering now - did it fit?

Sorlil said...

Does G know how to use his big chopper lol

Sorlil said...

oops, that was uncle J logged in as auntie M

HORIZON said...

LOL J. Now l know we're related ;)

Sigrun said...

No, it is not o.k. The part on the right side is to much left. I can not read exactly.


Sue said...

Your family outing to cut the tree sounds like a fun event. (even for your DH) We used to love doing that until the tree farms were taken over by vineyards!
Sam looks so impish perched there on the tree!

Grish said...

Sounds like a wonderful tradition. We of course never seem to have the time and have opted for a fake tree but I so enjoy the time spent on the real ones.

Jeanette said...

A wonderfull family outing and tradition did the tree fit or did you have to cut it down size. look forward to more photo's once decorated

HORIZON said...

Update: Yes we had to cut the tree down to fit-lol
We trimmed a few branches from the top before we decorated but it is fine now. ;)

Sorlil said...

this really is auntie M! nice pics!

Anonymous said...

Hiya Mum.
Told you I would check your blog last time we talked. Im soooo disapointed that I missed out on the tree decorating this year. You know its my favorate (lol) - you bossing Gerald and I around - the cramped car...the list could go on. Sad thing is that I'll prob put my kids through the exact same situation one day - lol. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend. Daniel xxx
(sams pictures brill aswel)

Pamela said...

Horizon, You had me just laughing throughout your whole post! lol Glenbranter sounds like such a wonderful place to get a tree! Amazing they even treat you to a free tea or coffee & mince pie. Glad you got it to fit! lol

My word, "Tree Man" requires quite a suit of armor! lol

Cathy said...

It's so nice getting the annual Christmas tree! I posted about the same thing today.
I hope you're having a wonderful Monday!

Margaret said...

What a wonderful entertaining post, it did make me laugh, loved the take from the male hunters point of view as well, also what a great Christmas decortaiotn LOL. Cheers Margaret

somershade said...

We get a blue spruce every year.Alot of people in the US prefer artificail trees, but me and hubby always enjoy a real tree.I love your post,too funny about the ceiling monster.And I love your Christmas Elf.

Family traditions, thats what it's all about.

Pretty Lady said...

The place sounds wonderful, for me driving there it would be the biggest treat and I am sure the smell from those trees was wonderful. You know I was reading about your ball and just yesterday I took pictures of mine and I was thinking on explaining too about my accident and pain in my neck and back and how it does help me that ball. Just funny like you mentioned before about being far away and going through similar situations.

PEA said...

I immediately thought of the Griswolds!! hehe I love that movie and have watched it many times over already! It sounds like it was a fabulous day, even to hear G's side of the story! lol I've never had a real Christmas tree...I know, I'm so deprived!! One of these days I will:-) Can't wait to see a picture of your tree fully decorated!! Hugs xoxo

Tammy said...

Darn it all...for some reason Bloglines did not pick up this post!!
I loved your referenc to Chevy Chase...I'll have to watch that movie soon...tis Christmas tradition doncha know!!

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