Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Tree Hunting



As long as I can remember, my Dad has always insisted that we have a real Christmas tree. Not that unusual I'm sure except for the fact that he never buys one! Before I paint the wrong picture here, let me share my dad's theory. Up where he lives, they are surrounded by State Forest and until recently it was towering with 100 year old Eucalyptus trees and ferns (since Black Saturday, we are only now starting to see a few saplings rise through the scorched, black earth). My father is a pragmatist and can see no issue with ridding the State Forrest of 'noxious' and 'introduced' Pine Tree species. 

As kids, the first day of December signalled an adventure. Dad would bundle us up in the car at night and drive for what seemed like an hour to a secret spot he'd be surveying for months where he'd spotted THE Christmas tree! THE tree was always off a track surrounded by heavy scrub that would scratch our bare legs as we fought through the foliage to reach our destination. He'd then carefully saw at its trunk, stopping every now and again to listen for any passing cars. Once down, we'd throw the tree under our collective arms and run like the wind back to the car. It is easily the one event in my life where I've lived on the wild side. I'm conservative by nature and acquiring a tree when everyone else is asleep felt really scary, if not a little thrilling. Dad always got cross when we mentioned the word stealing, reminding us that we were in fact renegade environmentalists!

The next morning we'd look over our prize catch, only to realise it was a mutt of Christmas tree. Typically, it would have big gaping holes around its trunk and be full of spiders, ants and unidentified creepy crawlies that only a protected eco-system could support. We'd try to jazz it up with decorations but it would look pathetic with a massive lean to one side. I always felt sorry for the tree. Amongst its own, it was probably very happy and inconspicuous. In our living room, it stood out like a poor little skinny kid with a big head. 



If your Christmas includes a few escapades, and you have a story to share, I'd love to hear it!

11 comments:

Make mine Mid-Century said...

Can you read my blog please? The second last post? I'm getting desperate here!

A Treasured Past said...

Hehehe, love it, and so reminds me of our little spindly tree collecting with my dad down at our local river. They were always lousy and dropped pine needles everywhere :(
Great photo by the way, Tamara

littlebetty said...

This is just too funny. Clearly you need to keep this tradition alive

Betty said...

What fun! a jolly good time out for the whole family and at least the poor old weedy tree was loved and wanted for a few weeks, it probably died happy. We used to get the most awful trees turn up late on Christmas eve - I think my dad waited until the green grocer shut and then took what was thrown out! it went in the garden and we would hang bacon and stuff on for the birds. Never had one indoors until I was an adult.

Sarah said...

Funny! Just as mutts the best dogs, your 'mutt' of a Christmas tree has an inimitable charm!

Megan said...

oh gosh that did make me laugh. the image of your dad stopping to listen for cars and calling himself a renegade environmentalist!! and you likening your tree to a skinny kid with a big head! hahaha, i needed that laugh! we had our first 'real' christmas tree about 5 years ago and got it from a proper farm and paid lots of money! what is your dad going to do this year??

Heidi said...

Yes Momma your a winner and I was a little bit of a cry baby over it....congrats!
That tree made me laugh so hard.....My Father yesterday was doing doughnuts in the parking lot with a car load of kids at the age of 75 I think we should get these 2 together....sometimes I have to laugh and other times he drives me nuts!!!

Little Ted Canvas said...

That's so funny I can just picture the four of you galevanting around the forest in the middle of the night! It makes for sweet memories, that's for sure..

krys kirkpatrick said...

Oh my gosh...but does that not make the best stories. It is not the perfections that we remember...but all the imperfections, that in the end...are perfect.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

LOL. Maybe we should be doing that in our house we live right on the state forest and I am always checking out the trees when I'm riding. :-)

Killiecrankie Farm said...

sorry - we have a christmas tree farm - we luuuuurve real christmas trees.
today i dropped a tree off to a friends house, it had a little bird nest in it - left last season by on of the gold finchs that nest in the trees each year.