Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Decorating Clark Griswold Style

Warning - this is a very long post!

Our family really enjoys the Christmas decorating process but it always comes with many unexpected extras that weren't exactly in the plan of happy memory making with our children. I have a post coming with our past Christmas trials and yes, it happens every single year and it all started the first year we were married. Stay tuned for some weirdness.

In the meantime I will focus on this year because yesterday proved to be one of the craziest in our Christmas tree extravaganzas. We decided to buy our tree early this year because so many weekends are filled already we thought this was our chance. Of course we like to make it an experience with the whole tree hunting, cider drinking, photo taking event. Normally we go out to a beautiful farm that really goes all out and the trees are bountiful and very well priced, even for the Noble Firs. Unfortunately this year we had to break a 7 year running tradition of going with our friends. Only because time was weird this year as I stated previously. I am new subscriber to Groupon which is a coupon system that has deals of the day for various places in town. Some of them are really hot deals - like 90% off and things like that. Well, I got one for a tree farm which boasted 50% off trees. The website was really pretty and the ad featured roaring bonfires, petting zoos, dog park, cider and cookies, 15,000 trees, etc. it seemed too good to pass up so we headed out, anticipating a fabulous new experience. Oh my. First of all the ad had a photo on their website of this amazing decorated barn. When we pulled up I was looking excitedly for the barn. Instead a pop up canvas style tent met my eye. And the bonfire? Well, let's just say it was a small smoking pile of ash surrounded by cruddy little cinder blocks. The help with loading trees and hauling? Nowhere to be found. Free baling of the tree? Nada. Talk about false advertising. Where in the heck did the photo of the beautiful barn on the website come from? Forget the coupon, we were out of there and instead headed out to our famous farm we knew and loved. No problem, we weren't on a time frame. We arrived at said farm with just a sprinkling of rain beginning. Well, that's OK. We live in Oregon for goodness sake. As we are pulling on our boots, coats, etc I think that I better check to make sure I have my checkbook or cash to purchase our tree. Of course, I don't. I said a few choice words under my breath, threw my bag and had to admit my failure to my very excited kids and husband. Well, Ray earned serious points yesterday for remaining calm and collected. We decided we would head back home, get the checkbook, eat lunch and yes, head back out to the farm. Will suggested we go get the tree at a later time. Oh heck no! Game was on and we were taking prisoners! It was a full on mission.

After fueling up at home our voyage began (again.) A storm decided to gather speed and met us with rain, wind and hail as we were aboard the tractor train looking for our tree. Go back to the barn and we fuel up on all the wonderful trees, take photos and enjoy the coziness of the place. I explained to the owner how we had made 2 trips to their farm. She was so sweet and told me if I had just let her know we forgot money she could have just given us an envelope to mail our check....big sigh.... but once again, impressed at their lovely service.
We found a beautiful tree and the staff got it ready for us by hauling it and baling it. I noticed a light on the console of the car when I turned it around and got out to tell Ray. He said it looked like it might be a tire problem. Might? Our tire was just about completely flat. The farm has an air compressor so filled us up. Thought we would try for the annual cheesy Christmas photo for our cards, only to set up the tripod, background, arrangment of kids, poses and what not. Ready to go and....why didn't the camera shoot? Ah yes, how timely. Battery was dead.

Head BACK to the car, load up all the crud and I check the tire again. There is a persistent hissing sound coming from it. We googled the nearest Les Schwab and proceed down the country roads willing and praying the tire would get us to our destination. Ray got out at every pull out to check the tire and so we limped along. Thankfully we reached Les Schwab but they didn't run out to meet us like the ad says they do! :) 2 hours pass and I am terrified we have a serious tire problem. Not very convenient as we are at the end of the month money wise. I had made a stupid comment earlier in the day when we passed the tire shop. I commented how busy they looked! Famous last words. I also told myself yesterday that we were due for some car difficulty. How prophetic of me. Anyway, the tire had a chunk of metal embedded in it and they were able to patch it. I swear we got that metal at the first tree farm! Anyway, they charged us nothing. What a nice gesture of service! They will always have my business. We made it home though. All in all the tree experience took us 8 hours to complete. Now the tree is standing, a feat in itself. Tonight we decorate. We anticipate one of our nasty arguments to ensue half way through. Ray and I always have a doozy of one when we decorate. Aren't we festive? It is subdued enough that the children are oblivious but if looks and body language could kill, our children would be enjoying some nice life insurance money. Enjoy a couple of photos while we are still happy.

Right before the hail starts. Did I mention I didn't bring a jacket? Fortunately kids are in their snow gear.
I downed the free cider like it was a stiff drink - just kidding - but I did down some cider!

Our light at the end of the tunnel! One thing that stood out in the middle of our festivities was the kindness of people we came in contact with! Wow, that was really neat to see helpful people step up to lend a hand. A serious dose of Christmas spirit, for sure. Good reminder for me to pay it forward!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Christmas tree! O Christmas tree! How I long to take thee out of the box. After another tradition shot down...we now have a 7ft pre-lit beauty that is nicely stored in our spare room


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