Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oh Tanenbaum

I’ve always loved White Pine for our Christmas trees.  We used to be able to find them at a local tree farm and cut them ourselves.  Now we’re lucky enough to find them at all. It seems that Concolor and Fraser Fir are all the rage.  Feeling a bit like Charlie Brown, we search out the lots and usually find a few white pines.  Way at the back of the lot.  This year the selection was particularly small.

But we're fortunate enough to live in a part of Lancaster County where several local businesses  carry trees.  There's no need to go to Lowe's or Home Depot, or, gasp, Costo.  It really adds to the experience when the entire business is dedicated to Christmas.   Frysville Farms is one of our favorites.  It's family run and in business since 1760.  They not only carry trees, but have pine roping and a great selection (over 80,000) of poinsettias. I’ve blogged about these beautiful poinsettias before.  See:  Great Places to Shop.  
But on this particular day it was all about the tree.  So we set out looking for White Pine.
Concolor and Fraser Firs were piled high over my head.   

 Spruce and Douglas Fir were also plentiful.
 
As we made the long walk to the end of the lot, I wished we had come earlier in the year—even though it was still November.
 
There they werek, at the very end.  We usually take advantage of the tall ceilings at the inn and get a very substantial tree, but this year, we had to settle for one just a little over six feet tall.
 
It looked even smaller after it was wrapped.

But once our modest White Pine was decorated, it was transformed- just like Charlie Brown’s - into a beautiful tree, with its long graceful needles softly enveloping the ornaments. 

Holidays are often noisy and fun.  They fly by way too fast.  But those days that the tree is in the house are wonderful, filling the air with its scent.  I love to light the tree in the morning while it’s still dark outside, or sit in the room at night with only the tree lit.  It’s about my favorite thing to do at Christmastime.
Perhaps it’s the symbolism of light in the darkness, or the memories reflected in the ornaments, or the fact that ours will be a quiet celebration this year, but more than ever before it seems that the little things mean the most - like the tradition of caring for a live tree.

And when the quiet, bare days of January come, I will surely miss the noisy, cluttered days of Christmas, but I’ll be especially aware of the empty spot in the sitting room where our tree stood.