Sunday, December 01, 2013

Bad postcard of the week: Selecting a Christmas tree and other holiday hazards.

Our couple does not look happy.

I’m convinced that the couple depicted on this week’s bad postcard has just returned from searching for the family Christmas tree.

Oh, sure, the evergreen on the guy’s shoulder is a clue. But I only had to look at the unpleasant, if not hostile, expressions on our yuletide couple’s faces to know where they've been.

Yes, I’m one of those die-hards who insist on a real evergreen in our living room instead of an artificial tree.
I also insist on cutting it down at a tree farm. Last time we bought a pre-cut tree, we were knee-deep in pine needles.

This used to be a full family adventure, heading to the farm, climbing on the horse-drawn sled that takes took us deep into the fields where we found the perfect tree, quickly cutting it down, loading it back on the sled and sipping on hot cocoa as the staff shook and bound the tree for the trip home.

At least that’s the way it looked in theory.

In reality, I’m deathly allergic to horses and selecting the perfect tree took forever as we trudged through ankle-deep snow. Finally, I’d have to lay on my belly in the snow to get the dull saw to cut through the trunk. Naturally, we’d miss the return sled and have to drag the tree back to the car trying to avoid the mud in the parking lot.

OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad. But my wife refuses to go on such trips these days.

That leaves me and the kids. Truth be told, the son has minimal interest. He’d pick the first tree we’d stumble upon if he had a say in this. Which, I must add, he does not. He is a tree mule, brought on these expeditions to solely to help carry O Tannenbaum back to the car.

This guy is in trouble.
The role of chief selector belongs to my daughter. She is sometimes indecisive and always thorough. This means we must inspect every tree on the farm, then narrow down the semi-finalists before taking a closer look the contenders once more and finally making the selection before darkness falls.

Eventually we load the tree into or on top of the car and hope that the string holds long enough to get to McDonald’s for egg nog shakes and, eventually, home.

It is unquestionably a family bonding exercise that ushers in the season of tidings and joy. And it all ends well when we have our beautifully lit and decorated tree, pleasing to the eye and filling the house with that wonderful pine aroma.

Our couple on this week’s bad postcard will discover that – once they are talking to each other again.

One neat note: This card was postmarked at 5:30 p.m. on Christmas Day, 1909. That means Grace, who sent this to Mrs. Harry Horton of Parma, was a world-class procrastinator!


dustin said...

You need a better tree farm. I love pinecrest in Galien. Tractors or horses and they come around every few minutes so no missing

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Thanks, Dustin! I'm better off with the tractors and not the horses!