O, Christmas Tree
We made it out for another Christmas tree! The problem with holiday traditions is that this time of year is really terrible for trying to squeeze in recreational things. With the shop open seven days a week, getting groceries is sometimes a stretch, so an outing to a tree farm an hour out of the city is always hovering under the axe. I keep trying to remind myself that these traditions are important, although maybe we need to start making ones that are located a bit closer. In any case, off we went. The baby started off asleep in the car, which was a blessing because she does not handle car rides very well. I took this as an auspicious sign for the day, but you all can imagine how auspicious a sign can get when you have two kids and you're trying to bring home a tree. The trip up to the farm was a disaster, but I'll highlight the main points for you. Someone spilled hot chocolate over the diaper bag (Caleb), someone was carsick (me), someone tried to get his carsick co-pilot to take pictures of hot chocolate spill so he could see the damage (Jon), and someone cried on and off for an hour (the baby). The off was about the last ten minutes before we arrived at the farm. When we got there, though, we saw a family in the parking lot stripping down their kid, and wiping vomit off his shirt and jacket and shoes and pants, so...it could always be worse. We went to the same Christmas tree farm we went to before, Prestonvale, and it was just as sweet and earthy as I remember. And it smells just like Christmas. It turns out that it was harder to pick a tree than I remember. There are all sorts of criteria besides the obvious (spidey sense): shade of green, height, symmetry, fullness, diameter, approval of three year old. They also put these coloured tags on the trees, indicating how long the needles stay on for, and while I was aiming for the trees with the longest life, Jon was more "you don't need this tree to have needles in mid-January." Caleb picked a few trees, all of which were vetoed, mainly because of that kid tendency to pick kid-sized things. We looked for a long time. I'm normally fairly decisive about these sort of things, but there seemed to be a fatal flaw in every single tree we looked at. And we looked at a lot of trees. At a certain point, our captain was heard to say: "Liz, we need to pick a tree, I'm getting exhausted just from pushing this wheelbarrow."* I think as we neared the end Caleb was beginning to suspect we were in some twilight zone of endless acres of trees, but he revived heroically once the sawing action began. On the ride back, we caved and stopped for McDonalds. With both babies were sound asleep, it was ironically one of the first times I've enjoyed a meal in peace since the baby was born - balancing a burger and fries on my lap, while staring out onto traffic from the parking lot of a fast food joint. We made it back to put up our tree, and start stringing up the lights. It's crazy how just hanging up the lights and the fragrance of the tree make it feel like Christmas in here.
***In other news, there's lots of activity going on here. We've been keeping busy with shipments coming in (and still more to come!) and packing up online orders - it's that time of year when the boxes seem to stack higher and higher and we're just talking to each other on the other sides of piles without seeing them. The shop has been busy, too - it's both a delightful and stressful thing to see a line up at the check out counter. Jon has been going back and forth to the studio shop, and I've been meaning to share some photos of the renovations on the blog. Things seem to be moving quickly - both the renovation, and life. And me! I've crossed Chicken and Super off of my Christmas list - I got them one of these cat trees as a joint present, and then Chicken got this burlap mouse thing with feathers for a tail (there are some weird cat toys out there) and Super got a giant rope with some knots in it. Crossing them off has given me a strange and likely distorted sense of productivity. *It was admittedly very hilly there on the farm.