Monday, December 17, 2007

Look Out The Other Window

I spent a large amount of time making elves of my daughters at elfyourself this morning. I was growing more and more frustrated, trying to find small enough faces to fit the elf template. Finally, as I finished the last elf I noticed the 'scale' button slider. Doh!

It set me behind on my to-do list for the day, and now I'm feeling the beginning of frazzled for the coming week and it's only Monday. The week preceding Christmas and other winter holidays is like finals week for parents.
Our Christmas tree is up and decorated though. Last week Saturday we headed out to our usual tree farm as soon as they opened at 9am, because we had a full day ahead of us and the 9-10am slot was our best shot of getting a tree that weekend.

We used to go to a Christmas Tree Farm about 20 miles away complete with live reindeer, cattle, and other animals, and grain you could buy to feed them. They had a live Santa on the weekends as well, and the lot workers that helped cut your tree (or supervised if you wanted to give it a go yourself) wore elf hats and reflective vests with 'ELF' on the back. There were wagons/sleds for carting your kiddos through the many tree lots, a gift shop for any last minute things, and hot cocoa while you waited for your tree to be shaken and baled. It's a great place if you want a wide selection of trees, and if you want to make an event out of your tree shopping - Ozzie Smith once got his tree there.

A few years ago, before E3 was born, we trooped out on a Friday afternoon, thinking we'd avoid the weekend crowds. The Farm had been under new management for about two years, and after the initial year when the previous owners showed the new owners the ropes, they changed the hours. To weekends only... and their weekend didn't include Friday afternoons.
Dejected, we headed back home to try and plan another trip when I remembered seeing a sign for a farm near us. We decided to give it a shot. It's not nearly as large as the old place; no elves, no Santa, no live animals...unless the worker on duty (which has always been the same guy because he owns it) has a couple of dogs trailing him. It's no-frills, but quick and easy: choose your tree, he cuts it down, shakes the loose needles out, and helps strap it to the vehicle and you're on your way. And he's cheaper than the other farm, so maybe he's got some elfin' magic after all.

NOT an elf.

Last Saturday, we headed out into the countryside, driving through the cold rain and knowing we had to make a quick selection. As we pulled down the driveway of the farm, we gazed out the passenger-side windows of the van, already scouting for our perfect tree (no taller than Rob, no rounder than Rob and I can clasp our hands around), and E3, seated in the middle row said in a disappointed voice, "They're all small."

I looked back to see her peering dejectedly out the driver's side window at the field of seedlings.

Trees for the Charlie Brown shoppers.


Lisa said...

Did ya'll go to Eckerts?

That's one thing we don't do... We have a fake tree. With the lights already on. That comes in two pieces. If it weren't for trees like that, we'd have no tree at all. heeeheee.

(Ok why is that Heehaw song in my head. "If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all... Gloom, dispair and agony on me....")

Robo said...

ha! I love the accent on Larry NOT being an elf.

Glenda said...

LOL about the Charlie Brown trees. The tree farm we go to is lowkey and small, which means it's just right for us! Honestly, Christmas tree farms are not in abundance in West Texas ;-). How utterly weird for a tree farm to only be open on weekends so close to Christmas -- bad for business for them, good for business for the smaller farm.

Daisy said...

Love the Charlie Brown seedling angle!