I love the holiday season. To me, all the lights, music, food and togetherness is just… magical.
One of the items that makes the holiday season magical is Christmas trees. But for me, it’s important to find the perfect tree.
I grew up in an old house that had a rather large living room with 10-foot ceilings. Because of this, my family was able to have incredibly large Christmas trees, and we would go to great lengths to find the “perfect one” each year. But finding that “perfect tree” was not easy. The tree needed to fit the following critera:
- At least 9.5-feet tall (usually it ended up being 12+ feet and we would trim off the top and bottom)
- Strong branches able to hold hundreds of ornaments and lights.
- No super-manicured or trimmed trees — natural look was preferred (i.e. we didn’t have the perfectly conical trees in our living room)
- Space between branches so ornaments could be hung in a way that provided depth and not lay on the outside of the tree.
Each December, we would pick a Saturday and start visiting the U-Cut tree farms in Whatcom County. We could only visit the same one two ro three years in a row because after that, all the big trees were generally gone. We would sometimes spend hours driving to farms and walking through rows and rows of trees, debating about whether the evergreen was worthy of sitting in our living room for three weeks.
And once we finally found a tree, the laborious process of cutting through the trunk (one year it was nearly two-feet thick — we hold the record of the largest tree cut down at that farm) and hauling it back to the car began. And then there was the struggle of getting the tree secured in or on a vehicle. Yes, we were that family driving down the road with half the tree hanging out the back of a truck, just barely clearing the roadway.
After getting the tree home and cut to the proper height, maneuvering it into the front window was a three-person job — one holding the tree, one adjusting the base and one standing back to determine the tilt. Then we would spend hours upon hours decorating the monstrosity, using kitchen tongs while standing on a ladder to reach the top three feet.
This may sound like a complete waste of time. But, this was our tradition. And now that I have home and family of my own, I’m just as picky and detail-oriented when it comes to my Christmas tree. The search begins this Saturday!
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.
I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.
When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.