Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
I can't tell you how excited I am that the holiday season is here - I love the lights, the decorations and especially putting up the tree (taking it down is another matter). And so begins the annual Fox family debate - what kind of tree to get.
My husband grew up in an "artificial tree" family. He believes in economy - grab that puppy from the basement, have it up in under a half hour, maybe spray some pine-scent and start decorating.
If only it could be so simple.
For, you see, I tend to channel the spirit of Clark Griswold during the holiday season. And worse, I come from a real tree family. And not just a "tree lot" tree family - my dad had us out early the weekend after Thanksgiving, hoofing it across massive Christmas tree forests, looking for the perfect one. We'd spent all morning walking - and goofing around - but all in search of the not-too-tall, not-too-short, no-bald-spots, does-it-have-the-right-kind-of-needles, long-enough-trunk, my-brother-did-NOT-see-it-first masterpiece of a tree. We'd take turns chopping it down and then my dad would haul it back out of the woods.
The first year we were married, I tried to re-create this tradition with my husband, the spray-on pine scent guy. He was cautiously optimistic. I picked the wrong tree farm. It was literally a long field flanked by other people's backyards. He laughed. And finally, I did too. It was fun. The tree was pretty. And we vowed ... next year would be spectacular.
Then we had one kiddo, and two. My husband began to point out ads for artificial trees - on sale! (Yeah, I'm a sucker for a sale.) But, no. While I'm not going to channel Clark Griswold to the point of dashing out to the woods with two small children and a hack saw, I still need a real tree.
So we head to the lot up at church. My husband talks with the guys, we all pick out a tree and it's just as pretty as the ones we dragged home years ago. But someday...one day...I'm going to get these people back out into the woods.