The Perfect Tree

Most winters my family travels at Christmas, so we rarely have the chance to decorate a "real" tree.  Our artificial one is nice but certainly nothing like a living, scented pine tree!  This year though we're only going out of town for a few days, after Christmas itself, so we were able to have a live tree.
I haven't hunted Christmas trees since I was, oh, about twelve?  This was so much fun.  Snow covered the tree farm, probably six inches deep on the ground, and more drifted down as we hunted.  This being our family, of course, we had to look at every kind of pine and fir they had - very nearly at every tree.  All five of us had a mental image of the "perfect" tree, and while we agree on some things - it must be as tall as possible, straight, and fairly symmetrical - there were differences of opinion on colour, needle length, fat vs. skinny, and endless other things.  We wandered for at least an hour, while my poor dad got more and more frozen (poor circulation) and the owners of the farm probably thought we were crazy.
But we found it at last!  The tree is about 7.5 feet tall in its stand, a beautiful shape, fat and full and luxurious, but still with that distinctive cone shape that a Christmas tree ought to have.  I've rarely seen such a beauty!
The cats think it's fascinating.  They love to sit under it, and they were in the way the whole time we were setting it up.
David, Katie and I carried it up to the van, singing Chopin's "Funeral March" at the top of our lungs because for some reason the scene suggested to us a funeral procession.  Our minds work in strange ways sometimes.  (Oh, and yes.  I did in fact wear a long dress to go tramp around in six inches of snow and acres of Christmas trees.  It's one of my Regency gowns from the S&S pattern, layered with a petticoat, and it was perfectly practical!)
Now our beautiful tree is standing in the middle of the living room, sparkling with lights, festooned with strings of "cranberry" beads, and hung with all our old beloved ornaments.  It is so lovely, I sometimes wish we could keep it up always - but it would probably lose its wonder and delight and become commonplace, so perhaps it is better this way.  I keep having the words of a song I sang with my choir at school this year running through my head... "There is a flower sprung of a tree; the root thereof is called Jesse...."  And of course this - that flower sprung of the tree of Jesse - is the real reason for our lovely tree.  Somehow that makes it even more lovely.

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