It is a long tradition for Mike and me to go out in the woods for our Christmas tree. For $5, you can purchase a tag from the US Forest Service, use up a tank of gas, spend half a day or more tromping through the woods to come home with a beautiful natural tree like this. The dollar price is way less than gym membership and the hourly rate of a psychologist. Yes, this is the stuff we do that keeps us fit and sane!
The next step is conning my sister Janice to come up and help us put on lights. This really keeps down the bickering over who has to do this least fun part of the decorating, and the swearing as the task is done. Her price? A roast chicken and vegetable dinner and a clean bed for an overnight stay.
The part I truly love is reaching into the ornament box, pulling out a favored ornament, and being flooded with the memories of who picked it out, where we were, and which child loved it most. Almost every year (even before our kids were born) Mike and I each picked out and purchased a beautiful or meaningful ornament for the tree; a tradition we continued with Rachel and Meg.
And the final step of the evening is posing with the tree, leaning on the branches. That's just how strong and stiff a high altitude tree is!