Oh Christmas Tree!

Isn't this a cute little evergreen.
Isn’t this a cute little evergreen.

When I was a girl growing up in south Alabama, one of our favorite Christmas traditions was to go fetch our Christmas tree.

Mom, Dave, whatever dog we had at the time, and I would bundle up in our winter coats, our “Bama” toboggans, and mittens and meet Dad around the corner of the house and store where he kept his red, Massey-Ferguson tractor. Dad would pitch some loose hay in the back of the wooden trailer.

Down the field road we would go on the puttering hay ride, singing Christmas carols until we were hoarse and trying to stay warm.

We crossed the railroad, and Mom would jump out to open the gate so that the tractor and ensemble could ride through. She would close it up behind us, hop back in, and we would drive through the pasture.

Across the creek and past wide-eyed cows and horses.

Many times we’d find the right tree along our barbed-wire fence line. We drove until we found just the right one—some obscure little one that would look like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the pasture, dwarfed by oaks, sweetgums, and large cedar evergreens. But once we got it into the house, it would be huge and majestic.

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Dad would stop the tractor, and we would all follow him to the lucky tree. He would take the saw and pull it back and forth until the tree was free of its base. We would all climb back aboard the trailer, tree and all, trying not to get stuck by the tree’s prickly branches.

When we got back home, Dad would saw off some of the extra limbs so that it could fit in the Christmas tree stand. Then the decorating would begin!

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I decided to find you all a similar tree along a fence line in north Alabama. I went out this 29 degreed-morning—a beautiful, blue, sunny day—to take the pictures. The forest looked beautiful and snowy with a sparkling jack frost that is impossible to capture with my little point-and-shoot. We don’t get much snow around here, but the frost still makes it a winter wonderland.

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An Alabama winter wonderland.
An Alabama winter wonderland.

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