Last year, when it came time for a Christmas tree, I headed to the local Home Depot. It was an unbelievably efficient process. I chose from a long line of perfectly trimmed Frasier Firs, while a team of kids in orange aprons trimmed the base and netted it in plastic for the short ride home. Ten minutes. $75 dollars. Nice and easy. But not exactly memorable or interesting.
This year, having plenty of access to open pastures and stray cedar trees, I had the urge to go country style. Instead of standing under fluorescent lights with the sound of employees paging one another in the air, I took an evening stroll with my family and cut the perfect shrub. Measuring about nine feet tall, the tree has been best described by Cristi as “gnarly.” It doesn’t have a bad side, but more a series of bad sections. I attempted to strategically position it in the corner, putting the best branches forward, but quickly found the process to be an exercise in futility.
Happy Holidays, friends, neighbors and bill collectors. Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend decorative ditch foliage for your living room, I’m happy with my tree. And even if it doesn’t make it to New Year’s, our Christmas shrub will always have a special place in my December 2010 memory bank.