At first mention of the idea of jazzing up our lofty home for the holidays, Ariel’s eyes lit up and she started forming hours of sweater-clad roommate togetherness in her mind. Jasmine and I were not strictly opposed to some short bursts of togetherness, but I doubt I’ve ever been as excited about anything (ever) as Ariel was about the prospect of the three of us going to pick out a Christmas tree together. I’ve only ever gone to get a tree with my mom, and that always consisted of a parking lot, a surly dude and a donation can.
Not in Ariel’s magic Christmastime world. She wanted us to go out and cut down our own tree. Out. Cut. Tree. These are words I would only use together to describe a wild night at the bar and possibly to explain a resulting mug shot. I don’t even own the appropriate “garb” for trekking in the snow to saw at a tree trunk. I have hideous boots that are made of what appears to be thick paper, two coats that are just for show and a series of hats that I guess are too small for my head. I did manage to dig up a pair of gloves I bought last winter and wore only once to gallivant around Detroit on a random February adventure in Motown.
Of course, I wasn’t concerned about braving the elements. I was more concerned with having an appropriately cute “wintery” outfit to display next to my gorgeous roommates and their perfectly on-theme looks. We Kardashianed the outing from the beginning when we knocked on our neighbor’s door and asked them to interrupt their Sunday afternoon to take a photo of us in our wintery looks on the front porch. With the first photo out of the way, we jumped in Jasmine’s SUV to grab some coffee and head out to the Christmas Tree Farm that I was sure would be our undoing. There’s something about the impending reality of the slick hilly terrain of the outdoors, boots with no tread and one of us wielding a saw that was unsettling. There we were, three brunette women, all in full makeup and adorably ineffective cold-weather outfits, traipsing across the parking lot to grab a hand-saw and pick out the perfect tree.
Perhaps in an effort to avoid walking very far, or perhaps by a fortuitous beam of fate, we stumbled across the perfect pine tree almost immediately. It was delightfully robust and just tall enough to still be under $40. In case you haven’t guessed, I have no idea how to go about cutting down a tree. Even from my starting point of zero knowledge, I never would have guessed it would involve laying down on the ground and attempting to maintain rhythm and force with absolutely no way to brace yourself. Jasmine and I each took a short turn with the saw to make sure there was photo-evidence of us cutting down the tree, but we left the heavy lifting to Ariel, the lumberjack. She amazed me with her sawing skills and willingness to flop down onto the frozen ground in her leggings and had the tree down in no time.
We hefted it (and by we, I mean Jasmine and Ariel) up and started walking back toward the homestead, but had to stop for Ariel to give the tree a quick, Christmassy HJ before it was bundled up conveniently for us to take home. Have you ever seen a tree-shaker in action? You have to hold on to the tree so it stays upright as it shakes, and it’s terribly obscene. And so am I so the shaker plus several children around made for a completely inappropriate few minutes.
After spending way too long at Target to pick out decorations we finally made it home and got the tree in the door. Ariel and I hunkered down around the pine needles to try our hand at sawing off some of the lower branches so it would fit in the stand. Only…we’re three women who wore full makeup to go cut down a tree. We don’t have a saw. What we did have were two serrated steak knives that didn’t work at all, until they finally did. The tree is up, it’s sparsely decorated and illuminating our house with Christmassy cheer.
And I still have sap on my hands.