When the Mister and I had been dating for a while and things seemed pretty serious, I decided to ask him gently about some of his former girlfriends. I was particularly curious as to why he hadn’t continued seeing one young woman, who was quite beautiful. His reply was “Oh, I could never be serious about her. She didn’t like Christmas!” Years later, I wonder if any other man loves Christmas as much as my husband—his enthusiasm is just shy of that of Buddy the Elf’s. In fact, it probably surpasses it when you take into account that Buddy’s zeal was focused on the North Pole and Santa while the Mister’s is centered on the birth of Christ and encompasses almost every detail of this season of celebration. Even so, we’re kind of picky about our holiday traditions, being firm believers that Thanksgiving should get its due. And we do our best to honor Advent and its deliberate and thoughtful traditions. In years past, we’ve set aside the first Saturday in December to get our Christmas tree. We would bring it home, put it in a bucket of water, and usually have it in the house ready for decorating by the following Saturday. But when a child goes to college, family traditions have to be adjusted, and so today we made the trip to Cedar Mountain, North Carolina, to cut a Frasier fir. Our favorite tree farm is a very small, family run operation. A yellow bow saw is provided. As is a measuring stick, marked up to nine feet.It’s a pretty secluded place.There’s no piped-in Christmas music, and Santa Claus is nowhere to be seen, but Lovely and Little are still on their best behavior. Trimmings are free for the taking, rather than bundled up and sold. Once you have made your selection, just carry it to the cashier, who is one of the owner’s granddaughters. The owner’s son will measure it and then net it for you. At only $7 per foot, it’s easy to see why five trees seems reasonable to the buyer of these fragrant beauties!Big makes sure the tree is ready for the hour-long ride down the mountain.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! How richly God has decked thee! O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! How richly God has decked thee! Thou bidst us true and faithful be, And trust in God unchangingly. O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! How richly God has decked thee!"