Christmas Tree

Tree Smiles
For many years now, Laura and I have enjoyed going to Saum Family Farms to cut down our Christmas tree. The sprawling farm always has a huge selection of trees at great prices, and after we’ve found the perfect Canaan Fir, we head into the barn for a cup of hot chocolate and a warm cookie before we leave. Last year, we got to take my parents along and our first baby, Gus. This year, it was exciting because we were blessed to bring along our second baby, Kiley. It was a bit rough trying to wrangle Kiley, the ever squirrely Gus, a camera, a saw, a tree cart, and still look for a good tree, but somehow we managed. With the tree all bundled up, it fit nicely in the back of our Elantra while Kiley made quite an impression on the staff in the barn.

Getting home always starts the least fun part of the “tree experience” for me: getting it mounted straight. Years ago, I bought a tree stand that is large and sturdy enough to hold the White House Christmas tree. The only problem is that if one doesn’t purchase a tree that large, the threaded bolts aren’t long enough to reach the small trunk of a tree like ours. After the tree almost fell, twice, carpel tunnel in my wrists from twisting and twisting anchor bolts, and five shims later, the Cline family tree was up!

Our Christmas family photo didn’t go quite as planned. We wanted all four of us in front of our tree but unfortunately, two of us didn’t want to cooperate with actually looking at the camera lens. Laura’s grandparents dropped by for a visit, so we enlisted them in the job of pushing the shutter release while waving arms, clapping, shouting out, and shaking a bag of doggie treats. After all the commotion, we found a winner.

Kiley was very excited to see Santa in the Easton Mall this year. Actually, at six months old, her parents were more excited about it than she was. No waiting at 11:00 am and the great deal was that if you bought a picture, you could also bring your own camera and take a few pictures for yourself. Once in Santa’s lovable lap, she started to get a bit frantic, but upon seeing mommy and daddy just out in front of her, she settled down and decided to play with Santa’s red robe. Once home, we also got some fun pictures of her at the tree and pretty soon, daddy’s probably going to lose his role of putting the star above the tree.

With our move to Texas in the spring, this will mark the final time we get to head down to Saum farms to cut down a tree for Christmas. We do look forward to making new memories down in red dirt country and I’ve promised Laura we will look for a new tree farm in North Texas to start making memories at a new tree farm. If you’ve never cut down your own fresh tree, give it a try next year — you’ll have have fun doing it and make memories that will last a lifetime. Click the picture above for more pictures.

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