My kids and I get a little excited when it's time to bring in the big green Christmas tote from the garage. You know, it's the same stuff every year, but there's something about taking out all of the Christmas decorations again. It's almost as good as Christmas morning.
So, there we were, putting on the Christmas music and getting ready to dive in to that tote, until we opened it up. Holy moly! It was a mouse paradise. Thankfully, the nuisances moved on and we didn't end up jumping through the ceiling, but the damage was beyond repair. I guess that's what happens when you put a tote with a small hole at the bottom in the garage.
Many nostalgic ornaments, homemade decor and garland all down the drain. And it didn't stop there. The poor Christmas tree had seen better days too before mice found it as a nice prickly restroom. Talk about stink! I'll take a goat or horse manure pile any day over mice pee.
What to do, what to do. Things were pretty tight(they're pretty much always tight) and we couldn't just whip out a $100 or so to buy a tree.
My parents came over with their RV and stayed a couple of days to watch my kids play basketball. I told them my dilemma. My mom told me that one of her favorite things to do as a kid was search their farm for the perfect cedar tree for Christmas.
Hmmmm. We've got cedar trees.
And my son would be more than willing to try out his new hack saw.
So, the next day, my dad and two of my middle children went on a little hike out back. It was raining and chilly, but we were on a mission. We were going to get a tree.
I see cedar trees all the time on our property, but wouldn't you know when we were looking for them, they just weren't showing up. We saw quite a few seedlings and cute little cedar trees, but none worthy to call our Christmas tree. Dad found a nice little one to dig up and transplant back at his house, but we kept on searching.
And there, slightly hidden behind a few branches and bushes, we saw that perfect tree. Not too tall, not too short, shaped just right. We didn't have to take a vote or think about whether this was the one, it was! Plus, I think my son was just ready to saw something, anything.
Of course we had to take a picture or two. Three generations right here with the very first Christmas tree from our land. Pretty special moment.
Once we loaded up the tree and started heading up to the house, my dad told me twice on that very short drive how much that brought back memories when he was a kid. My dad will be 79 on Christmas Eve. It meant something to him, something special.
I couldn't help but get a little lump in my throat. We did something that brought back good memories for him. Memories from many many years ago. We did something that my mom enjoyed doing as a little girl. This tree just kept getting more special.
We put the tree in an old milk pail and filled it with sand. We have plenty of sand and cedar. In fact, I'm thinking of changing my soap company to Sand 'n' Cedar, but that's for another day.
We did not have any nice ornaments that were salvageable, but we had a few blue balls to put on the tree. Once I brought it inside, the kids immediately started stringing popcorn and I started the Christmas music. I heard my dad exclaim a couple of times how that tree was the perfect size, the top just being an inch or two shy from the ceiling. And boy, was it pretty!
Not a glamorous pretty like most trees, but a simple yet satisfying pretty. Some might look at it and think otherwise at first glance. But, I'm sure after I tell them the story, they will think it's beautiful.
It's a special tree. We made due with what we had. This tree came from our land and we had to work a little to get it. But, even better, we were able to bring back special childhood memories that my parents enjoyed. They were a big part of this tree. Mom sparked the idea and dad helped with the search. This tree brought me back to a more simple life, a life of hard work, yes, but a deep, satisfying life. It reminded me that it's the small things that really matter. In this chaotic world, we need a little reminder of what true satisfaction is.
Even on the farm, life gets hectic and isn't so simple at times. But that tree puts things in perspective.
Be grateful for the little things.
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