The Great Christmas Tree Hunt, 2007.

Saturday morning we headed out to a rural Christmas tree farm for our Christmas tree.  We tried this place a few years ago when the pickings were too slim at Eckert's (our choice for all things which can grow on trees 'round here), and have been going to Meert ever since.

We love Meert.  We love that dogs hang around there.  We love that they have stoves they keep burning in the fields and at the main building so you can crowd around it for warmth.  We love that we can get hot chocolate after tooling around looking for The Perfect Tree.  We love that the people are so friendly.  Most of all, we love it because it's become a tradition. 

This year we decided to take the Malibu and stuff the tree in the trunk.  In previous years we took the Murano.  We either strapped the tree to the roof which required me to crane my neck all the way home to MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T MOVE (Greg's orders) or (last year) we stuffed the tree in the back of the Murano.

Ethan flatly refused to wear his hood or gloves, even though when we asked him if he was cold he nodded emphatically.  It was probably 30 degrees out Saturday morning. 

Whenever we find a tree, Greg must stand next to it so we can gauge its height next to his, lest we end up with a Griswold-esque monstrosity.  Trees always look smaller in the field than in the house.  Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Lampoon-worthy trees in the fields at Meert, but we chose to go with something smaller.  It takes us forever to find the right tree because they're either too scrawny on one side, the needles are too brown, or they're too bushy at the base.  Finally, in mock exasperation, I asked Greg how he would feel being rejected for any of those things.

Once home, we listened to the Elvis Christmas album and decorated as quickly as possible while Ethan napped.  Whew.  Now we can undo all of it again when Christmas is over.

Here are the photos — mouse over for the captions:

Greg & Ethan during the wagon ride to the field.Laurel found the winner, behind the family in this photo.Laurel chased Greg down the aisle after he cut the tree. Greg chased her, shaking the tree over her head and raining needles all over.


Ethan and Laurel in a sleigh, waiting for our tree to be shaken and bound for transport.Hot chocolate -- another of our annual traditions.


More hot chocolate. Ethan's had an ice cube in it. The final product in a darkened room. We've begun the arduous task of keeping Ethan from destroying the tree.