After trying to back out of going with my dad to find a Christmas tree, I wound up standing outside in rain and mud while he debated which of the two trees he was interested in buying. We had driven twenty minutes, because my dad was convinced that shop would have fresher trees than the shop two minutes from the house. Of course, he went with the opposite tree I pointed at, even though, at least to me, they basically looked identical. Apparently, he liked a particular branch on the tree he chose, which had about 100 needles that were white.
I was sent off to follow the employee with our tree while he bailed it, and then I was told to tie the tree to the roof of my dad's SUV. I have never tied a tree and spent about twenty minutes doing all sorts of knots, twining the rope over and under and around rails on the roof of the SUV, as well as the tree trunk, all while trying to seem cool and look like I knew what I was doing in front of a pretty girl that passed by--only to have my dad come back outside with another employee that undid all of my work. That's not to say I did a good job. I'm positive my knots would have resulted with a Christmas tree on the highway, but, had I known from the start my dad was going to ask an employee, I wouldn't have bothered, and the pretty girl wouldn't have laughed when the employee said, "This is a mess."
Once tied, my dad and I got into the SUV. He started the engine, and I asked, "Did you tip that guy?" to which he responded, "He doesn't need a tip. He owns the place." The drive home consisted of me trying to figure out how my dad could possibly know the guy that tied the tree was an owner and not just an employee, along with me repeating, "You should've tipped him, even if he was an owner."
At home, I untied the tree, carried it into the garage, and noticed I was covered in sap. In this moment, my finger, despite being washed three times, is sticking to my keyboard. I smell like pine. My jeans and hoody are in the wash, also covered in sap...and I just noticed there are pine needles clinging to my shirt, which will soon go in the wash.
Of all the things I love about Christmas and the Holiday season, which is an extensive list, the act of going out and getting a real tree has and always will be my least favorite. Even when I was a kid, I wouldn't want to go tree shopping; I'd get bored and sit in the car with my toys.
I'd kind of wished I still had toys to play with today, maybe a G.I. Joe or a Ninja Turtle, regretting I didn't bring my smartphone.