Sunday, December 11, 2011

Look Kids, A REAL Christmas Tree!

And... my tree shall always... be real.

Dear Children of Christmas,

Once upon a time Christmas trees were... well... trees. Trees with sap and dead needles falling on the floor and the need to be watered. Christmas trees were not green plastic things manufactured from recycled tires. Christmas trees were not pulled out of a box at Thanksgiving to gather dust and become a semi-permanent part of the house's decor for a month and a half.

I rather like the Victorian image of the tree decorated on Christmas Eve with candles being lit for one glorious moment.

It seems incredulous to me that an entire generation of Christmas children have no concept of a real live Christmas tree!

No so at Hillcrest Cottage! This is where 'real' resides. Like it is 'real' that half of the plaster ceiling in my entryway hall nearly killed someone when it decided to crash to the floor last summer. And we are still debating the solution to this problem.

It is 'real' that Beautiful Lucy the Doodle-less leaves her furry calling cards everywhere... on the sofa... on the floor... on our clothes. Thank goodness for lint rollers!

It is 'real' that I have about 4 or 5 unfinished remodeling projects.

In contrast to Hillcrest Cottage's 'real' flaws... it is my constant prayer that everyone who walks through my rickety garden gate will feel the 'real' love and acceptance that this family who lives here has to offer.

So, for all the pre-fab Christmas tree children, this is how a real tree comes to be.

Won't you join us on our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm? It is afternoon, and the sun is lowering in the late Autumn sky. The temperature is dropping and the free hot chocolate that comes with our tree will be looking good when we are finally done.

What about this one?

Added fun on the tree farm are the live animals.

This little guy wanted a snack.

And so did he...

What a sweetie.

It was a beautiful December afternoon for Christmas tree shopping. In the midst of the hunt,we had some fun posing for farm-inspired photos.

Better than the 1970's cheap- photographer fake wagon wheel shots. This one is real.

Ha Ha! Reminds me of the Robert Louis Stevenson poem... "I have a little shadow".

My faithful helpers.

Enough fun... time to work...

Davis saws down the chosen tree... I even got a smile!

This year's tree is so different. I love it; it smells as great as it looks.

Hoping a wagon comes by to help him carry this tree.

Davis loads the tree on the hay wagon.

And... the hay wagon takes us back to the car.

To Davis' car, that is, which is covered with mud, just how he sometimes likes it.


The tree is in its stand and ready for the decorating! The real tree's aroma fills our cottage like a scented Christmas candle. You see, children, 'the scent of the tree' candle derives from the scent of a real tree.

Soon our real tree will have strings of sparkling lights and will be ready to welcome friends, and especially our college children, to Hillcrest Cottage!

It is exactly 14 days until Christmas, and Hillcrest Cottage is right on schedule.

Christmas has arrived!


  1. Sounds like a delightful afternoon! Love the shadow shot.

    My in-laws always had a cedar tree. Merry Christmas!!!

  2. first things first, thank you for being so nice last week – it has been a horrendous week – still processing. Second, I'm going down from 10 posts a week on the two blogs to eight – thinking that will leave more time to read blogs that I heart – and I heart yours. Third – I've always been a real Christmas tree guy – we usually found ours precut – I think it's special, the way you got yours this year – and the pictures – and the way you wrote it – it really did make me feel like I was there. And those animals! Anyway, thank you for this, and God bless you Bev.