Left: The children embarking on an arboricidal mission
(Toledo, OH) With sunny skies and warmer temperatures, we ventured out today to to complete one of our annual family traditions - the slaughtering of a pine tree for our holiday decorating.
More specifically, the kids gravitated toward the Douglas firs this year. After more than a few minutes of occasionally heated debate, the arboreal victim was chosen, and each of the children took a few participatory slices through the tree's trunk.
Our family holiday traditions bear more in resemblance to those of Chevy Chase than Norman Rockwell. The snow, in today's balmier weather, happened to be excellent packing, and various sibling grievances were aired out in snowball form.
Left: The sacrificial victim moments before the saw ended its peaceful existence
The eight-mile ride home took an interminably long time given the horrific conditions to which my children were subjected. The middle seat of our gas guzzling SUV, the scene of one of the aforementioned snowball skirmishes, became the least desirable position given the melted snow ("Idiot! YOU threw the snowball, so YOU sit in it!"). A last-minute decision to tightly bale the tree and put it in the truck, rather than historymike's vision of strapping it to the roof, became a source of consternation as kids kept moving it away from themselves (and toward the nearest sibling: "Stop pushing that thing into me! It's making my eczema worse!").
And yet, despite the squabbling, everyone was pleased with the choice, and the event is now part of family lore.
Let's just hope that no squirrels were hiding in the tree.