Or: O tannenbaum! O tannenbaum!, to pay homage to our German ancestry.
My memory tells it thus:
When we were young children, the annual selection of the family Christmas tree was a simple process; we pestered Beloved Father and Sainted Mother about when would we get the tree, and about 2 weeks before Christmas we would pile into the Chevrolet (2 doors for 7 people!) for a trip to the tree farm. Actually, the tree farm was a lot at a corner sufficiently away from where we lived to seem like a trip to us. Beloved Father knew the owner of the lot, and his kids went to the same school we did; the lot's owner really did supply the trees from his family's tree farm.
While we would run up and down the rows of trees trying to pick out the "perfect" tree, Beloved Father would happily chat away with Mr Tree Farm before picking out the tree that he wanted. He always picked out a small Scotch Pine, complete with the requisite wooden "X" stand nailed into the bottom of the trunk. The tree would be roped to the roof of our car, and off home we would go.
Beloved Father further annoyed his brood by putting the tree in the basement for a week before Sainted Mother would allow us to get out the decorations and work our magic. The tree was always smaller than what we wanted, because Beloved Father would place it on a small table to raise it up off the floor, making it seem bigger than it really was. The younger we were the taller it seemed after it was set up. A white sheet would then be draped across the table and tree stand for that "snow" effect, as well as to hide the table.
Large colored bulbs would be strung on the boughs, and multitudes of ornaments would seemingly fill every open space, followed by a large dosing of icicles, or tinsel. A lit and decorated Christmas tree in an otherwise darkened room is still a stirring sight to me.
Eventually, modern technology invaded our lives, and Beloved Father and Sainted Mother went the artificial tree route for the remainder of their lives. It was still fun to decorate the tree, but the thrill of picking out a real tree was gone.
Fortunately for me, Wonderful Wife is not only a Christmas person, she favors a live tree in the family room. We also have 2 artificial trees in other rooms, but the live tree tradition still lives on in our home.
For many years our family has driven out into the country just outside of Granville, a quaint college town a fair distance away, and proceeds to Timbuk Tree Farm where we display our woodsmen skills by chopping down our tree. We make a day of it (several hours, anyway) with neices, nephews, and their children as well, everyone dressed for whatever the weather will bring. We have cut down trees in 70-degree temps, in freezing rain, inches of snow, and ground sloppy from cold rains. You can get out to the fields by walking or riding an old school bus or train car, both pulled by tractors. A platform is attached to the back of each for the erstwhile lumberjacks to pile their tress upon to be carried back to the lodge. There is a choice of Scotch Pine, Canaan Fir, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Concolor Fir, White Pine, Blue Spruce, and others, all variably priced.
After doing our Paul Bunyan impression, we enter the lodge to get our fill of snacks, visit with Mr and Mrs Santa Claus, take pictures, relax, and people watch.
All in all, a fun time is had by all, and new Christmas memories are made each year.