As all of you know, when kids arrive everything changes, and what was once acceptable is no longer. My husband wanted to follow his family traditions at Christmas, and since I really didn’t have any traditions of my own, I embraced most of his. (Notice how I said most…) He relayed story upon story of his families’ treks in the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree, and he really had me convinced that if I didn’t go along with this, I would be shortchanging my daughter’s Christmas experience. Unfortunately, the area chosen as the “perfect” spot for this trek was about a 300-yard walk up a steep hill that is about 200 feet high! Now remember that I mentioned I was a suburbanite, and trudging up any hill during the cold is not something I wanted to do, but I was a new mother, so I caved. We also had a year old dog that our families affectionately referred to as our “firstborn,” and my husband decided he should go along on the trip too.
I remember standing at the foot of this mountain-hill and not being able to see the top-I had the dog and my husband carried our daughter in her car seat. We passed very nice trees towards the bottom end of the mountain-hill, but my husband, being the experienced “tree cutter” convinced me that the perfect tree could only be found at the top, so on we went. The dog, who was not yet obedience trained, pulled mercilessly forward, and about half way up I nearly fell over him as he dove in and out of the trees. I was losing my Christmas spirit very fast, and I soon muttered obscenities to the dog and to my husband under my breath. And then I started to whine-I was cold, I was tired, I would wait in the car-and my kind hearted husband ended up with both the dog and the baby as we slowly reached the summit. I did relax a little when we found a gorgeous tree (although by then all the trees looked alike), and I slowly dragged the car seat with my daughter down the hill, while my husband had hold of the tree and the dog.