During the drive my sister and I would no doubt be doing our best to bicker from the back seat - it's not really sisterly love till fists fly in the car. My mother would then in her quiet teacher voice threaten us with no tree if we didn't knock it off. When my mom used her teacher voice, our blood instantly clotted and we were frozen.
Dad would usually yell at someone who he deemed unable to drive. Marcy and I would then turn our fighting spirit on my dad and tell him he was an idiot and to stop it. Dad would lose his cool and yell at us - rendering us all quiet for 10 seconds before he got all 3 women in his life yelling at him for yelling at us. We're a loud family - I am not sure if we've ever had a conversation at low volume.
We'd arrive at the Christmas tree lot/farm. I would be ready to die from embarrassment because my mom made me wear a toque(they weren't cool - and they wrecked my teased up spiral permed hair). Usually cute boys from my school were working the lot - talk about embarrassing!
Since we lived near the mountains there were tree farms everywhere. If you are a sissy you can take one of the ones that has been cut down and dragged down to the warming hut. You can make nice with the tree farmer and drink hot chocolate. But we aren't a sissy family.
Everybody would pick their contender for the FAMILY tree. Let the smack talk and insults fly! We'd nit pick each other's trees and yell insults - I am sure the people below could hear us from the warmth of the warming hut and wondered what kind of nut case family was on the hill. Yelling and laughing at the same time - that's how we roll.
My mother would be trying to get us all to behave and I'd start talking about farts just to annoy her. Marcy would hide behind a tree and make fart noises and my dad would be grading the contenders. We'd narrow the submissions and begin the smack talk about round 2.
After much yelling and creative insults we'd have a winner. Which is about the time my dad would realize that he forgot the saw back in the car. And no we most certainly could not use the ones at the tree farm. So Dad would go back to the car and the three girls would guard our tree. From what I don't know. No one in their right mind would climb that far into the trees and all our yelling would drive away anyone wanting our perfect tree.
Dad would return with the saw. Mom would always hold the trunk while Marcy and I complained about how cold we were and could we please stop for treats on the way home. Dad would be barking orders not to let the tree land in any mud when it came down.
We'd then muscle the tree down the hill to the measuring station where we'd find out the price of our green needled beauty. After paying and tying that baby to the car we'd be on the drive home. Dad and mom would complain about the price of trees going up every year. Marcy and I would beg to put the tree up that afternoon - even if it meant all the bugs and spiders in the branches would roam the house.
Upon our return home, hot chocolate and coffee would be dished out - I have a feeling my mother added a liberal dash of Bailey's to hers - she's one smart cookie!
Now I take my own kids to a tree farm that thankfully is flat and easy to walk around in. We cut down our own tree, hubs does insist on his own saw(Men!!!) and I have begun to teach my children the art of smack talk around the Christmas tree.
Yes, we're that nutty family your mother warned you about! Sunday we're getting the tree - it will be full, not overly trimmed, free of bald spots, cut with our own saw but not Douglas fir - we rock the Fraser fir!