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Frohe Weihnachten!

Christmas Tea TowelAnother Christmas has rolled around – so to those of you of that particular faith tradition, Merry Christmas!

In the run up to this year’s celebration, I decided not to inflate my Christmas tree, instead opting to have a Spartan display consisting of a Christmas Tea Towel.

But at the same time friends sent me pictures of their real, authentic, living (at least for a brief while longer) trees.

Which brought back memories of growing up.

As a kid we had a real, authentic, living (at least for a brief while longer) tree each year, one that we personally cut down in a US Forest north of Denver. The annual adventure to cut down the tree is one of my favorite memories: we would get up early, get in the car, and drive north from Denver to Fort Collins, where we would get off the highway and get breakfast at McDonald’s. As a young kid I slept most of the way from Denver to McDonald’s.

After breakfasting, we would drive north on US 287, hang a left somewhere (I believe toward Red Feather Lakes), then into the forest, where the Forest Service had authorized tree cutting. We would hike through the snow – always deep and powdery (as I recall it) – until we found the perfect tree.

Using an axe to cut down the Christmas tree was an act signaling novice Christmas tree cutters, at least according to my Dad. He would pull out his trusty bow saw in order to quickly and efficiently bring the tree down.

From there, the tree would be carried back to the car and tied on the roof – stump first. Then we were off to the exit, where we would pay the US Forest Service for the trees, and a tag applied to each one, signaling that it was legally acquired.

There’s something to be said for real, authentic, living (at least for a brief while longer) trees – other than the tree sap. As I recall it, trees leak a lot of sap – leaving hands, jackets, and gloves sticky.

As a somewhat confirmed neat freak, the prospect of sticky tree sap on my clothing, or my apartment floor, appalls me, even as the memories make me feel cozy and happy.

Christmas Tree on Friedrichstrasse

Christmas Tree on Friedrichstrasse

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