This year, the boys can carry our Christmas tree

The family and I are going out into the forest to find the perfect Christmas tree this weekend. We could get a better tree from a tree lot, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun. Or hard work.

Cutting your own Christmas tree is an excellent tradition, and this year, it’s an even better idea than usual. With all the weirdness of COVID, it’s another excuse to get outside, well away from other people, and spend some time with the people you’ve been cooped up with for nearly a year now.

I’m glad my kids are still excited about going out into the forest. It would be a lot easier to just buy a tree from a lot in town, and a tree from a lot would be fuller and prettier than anything we can find in the wild. But making a hike into the woods, finding the best possible tree, and cutting it down ourselves has become the official start of our family’s Christmas season. A few years ago, when I was working up in North Dakota, we didn’t get a chance to cut our own, and Christmas just didn’t seem the same.

It would also be a lot less work to get one from a tree lot. Each year, the boys are able to help me more than the previous year, so it gets easier for me. Colby’s a senior this year, though, and it won’t be long until Logan’s out of the house. But while they’re still here, and still growing, they’re great help.

Granted, it would be easier if I could manage to pick a light Christmas tree. Every year, I think I’m going to get one with a smaller trunk, but every year, I think I end up choosing one with a bigger trunk than the previous year. Not only does that make it harder to cut the dang thing down, but it also means we have to carry a heavier tree back to the truck through thigh-deep snow.

Maybe this year I’ll let the boys pick the tree themselves. To make sure they get one that’s not too big and heavy, I’ll tell them from the outset that they’ll also be carrying it back to the truck themselves. That way, even if they have my gift of picking a heavy tree, they’ll be the ones dragging it, instead of me.

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