a Christmas story


This was the weekend of Tree Procurement for Brad and I. Even though we’ve only been married 2-1/2 years, our history of getting the tree is storied. Mostly with this story:

Our first married Christmas, we went with Jessie and Jonathan (my baby sister and her studly husband–also their first married Christmas) to the tree farm south of Des Moines and went our separate ways to find our perfect trees.

About 40 minutes later, we met back at the lot where they shake the dead needles off the tree and bind it up with twine. The four of us stood by the tree baler (twiner? wrapper?) and waited for our trees to come off the line. Jessie and Jonathan’s tree was this sweet little five-footer–soft and squat. It was adorable and they are adorable, so it was perfect. Our tree, in comparison, was a behemoth. A tree of massive proportions. Because if Brad and I are going to do something, we’re going to DO IT.

Also, I have really bad spatial sense.

After neatly stowing Jessie and Jonathan’s tree in their trunk, all four of us heave-hoed that mega timber onto the roof of my car. The roof caved in slightly under the weight. We meticulously tied it, adding much more twine than was needed because, as I said, we’re not ones for subtlety. We stepped back to look at the mummified pine monstrosity and its noble steed, then moved to get in the car.

Dear reader, we tied the car doors shut. Not just tied, excessively twined the doors shut, but thankfully with the windows wide open. So, garbed in all our puffy winter gear, we crawled through the windows into the car and drove off pleased as punch.

When we got home, the true size of our tree was revealed to us. It was about 10 feet tall with a generous girth. We had to move the sofa halfway across the living room just to make room.  This is one of my absolute favorite photos of all time not just because our tree is so ginormous (Brad is over 6 feet and he looks like a munchkin next to it), but because Brad’s hair is also ginormous. I love that man’s hair.

Last year, we brought the scale down a bit and had an eight-footer. This year, we wanted to go even smaller (and less expensive) and set off to the tree farm with high hopes.

Nothing. Every single tree there was way over our budget and full of brown needles. Even the little scrawny ones were pricey. We discussed our options: Check out Home Depot where some friends from church snagged their tree for less than $18 (!) or head to Costco where they were selling Fraser firs out of a semi in the parking lot. Both plans seemed like selling out–no picking out the tree, no cutting it down, no strapping it to the roof of the car because we live so close to both a Lowe’s and Costco we could drag the thing home–but we made our way to Costco anyway. The trees were gorgeous, healthy, smelled amazing, and in our price range, so we bought one.

Literally, as we’re dismounting from the semi (in the parking lot at Costco right next to the loud and crazy megamall where bad Christmas music was being piped out over the whole county, I’ll remind you), I get a text from Jessie. She and Jonathan were on their way up into the mountains in Bozeman to find a tree. On a mountain! Where real, natural trees grow! To cut it down! Themselves! And take it home atop their mountain-friendly Subaru! It’s too much. They are still adorable.





  1. Tim


  2. Shanna

    : ) Love it! Priceless.


  1. honey&salt | it’s Christmastime in the city - […] I lie. We love giant Christmas trees. […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *