Don’t pick a Christmas tree that’s too big for you

Yesterday, I gave you a bunch of reasons to go to the woods and cut your own Christmas tree. Cutting your own tree is a great tradition, but there are some things you’ll want to think about if that’s what you want to do.

Cutting your own Christmas tree is a great excuse to get outside, it’s a wonderful family experience, and it’s by far the cheapest option for getting a tree, unless you go the artificial tree route.

But it can also be more than you bargained for.

My wife and kids and I went up to the forest last weekend to get our Christmas tree. We wandered around the woods for a while, exploring our options and just enjoying being outside in the snow.

Well, I have to admit, we wandered around the woods after we got a couple of very nice guys to help pull us out of the snowdrift I had idiotically backed the truck into when I was trying to turn around on the forest road.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Let’s focus on the tree-cutting experience. We immersed ourselves in the beauty of the forest and the wonders of nature, and eventually we found a beautiful Douglas Fir. We made sure it was within the regulations. It was under 20 feet tall, and the base was less than 6 inches in diameter. Not by much, but it was kosher. So I got to sawing, and I quickly realized this thing was dense. Really dense.

There was no turning back once I’d started, though. After several rest breaks, I finally got it cut down, and as miracles would have it, it did not fall on me.

It did, however, fall into the fluffy cushioning softness of a bed of knee-deep snow. While that snow was great for protecting the delicate branches of our beautiful tree, it also provided a heck of a lot of friction when we tried to drag that thing out of the woods.

I wound up having to hoist the trunk up onto my shoulder, and my wife had to lift the top so we could move it. And since we’d gone farther into the woods than we had thought, we had a long, slow slog through that knee-deep snow to get that stupid bush back to the truck.

But we made it, and the house does smell wonderful now. But it’s four days later, and my back’s still killing me. I’m starting to see why people get artificial trees.