This is part of my Christmas Memory Challenge, a goal I set for myself to recall 25 things I love about Christmas. You can also check out Shannon's memories here.
I was very lucky growing up because my dad's property was surrounded by a forest. I grew up thinking it was normal to climb trees in the back yard, make daisy chains in a field, watch deer walk past your window, and have donkey for a lawn mower. While I realise now this wasn't the 'normal' childhood most people had, it was pretty awesome. It also meant that come Christmas time, we'd hike into the forest and cut down our own tree.
My dad would scout for trees while he walked around the property so that come cutting day we knew exactly where to go. My dad, my brothers and I would get the chainsaw and flashlights and head out around dusk. It was a big deal when I was finally old enough to use the chainsaw myself! Once we returned to the house with our tree we'd take off any branches which didn't look right and do a final trim on the bottom with the hand saw.
The next step was to get the tree up in the living room. Normally, this is a simple task except by dad didn't have a tree stand for the first 15 years of my life. We'd place the tree in an ice cream bucket, cram rocks around the base of it, and then use fishing wire and a staple gun to attach it to the walls and the ceiling. That's right, ceiling.
We'd then enjoy a hot beverage before we commenced with the tree decorations. When we were young, that meant hot chocolate. As we got older, we usually put something a little strong in our cups!
Once us kids moved out, we stopped cutting down our own tree. While there is some ease in just showing up, paying some money, and walking out with a perfect tree, I miss the excitement and adventure (and alcohol) of getting our own tree by hand.