Kim and I are spending Christmas with her family over in America. It’s a brand new experience for me. Traditionally, of course, Christmas is associated with summer, so it’s really interesting to spend time in a weird alternative culture where it’s cold and wintery and yet still Christmas. I don’t know how they even manage to celebrate it.

Unfortunately an actual white Christmas seems unlikely, as it’s an unseasonably warm winter over here this year. But that at least meant it was warm enough for us to make a family excursion out of going to buy a Christmas tree.

Kim and I bought a Christmas tree last year, but it wasn’t quite the same thing. Ours came from Kmart and was a modest traditional plastic affair. Americans, it seems, are more inclined to go out and get themselves an actual tree. There are dedicated Christmas Tree farms stocked with acres and acres of nothing but Christmas trees. It must be an absolutely magical thing to do for a living, but I couldn’t help wondering what these people do for the other eleven months of the year.

Blue Spruce, White Pine, Fraser Fir, Red Cedar, Purple Wattle, Octarine Cypress, you name it and they’ve got it. Except those last two, which I made up. You just head out with a truck and a chain saw, cut down the one you want and then take it back to the shed to pay for it. Prices vary according to the species but apparently you pay per foot of tree.

It took us several hours and two different tree farms, but we eventually found one that met our required specifications. My thoughts on the matter were, “Is it basically a Christmas tree?” and “will it fit in the house”. I had a lot to learn about Christmas trees, apparently. There’s texture, fluffiness, shape, tendency to moult and colour to think about, although I was adamant that “colour” was a pretty stupid criterion, as despite the rather creative names for the different species, they were definitely all green.

In the end we selected a 7.5 foot white pine. I really don’t know what else to tell you about it. It was… a Christmas tree and it fit in the house just fine.

Ornaments not included.


 Merry Christmas!


Garry with 2 Rs

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