Monday, December 19, 2011
a christmas tree surprise
every family has their own holiday and christmas traditions, and searching for and selecting that "perfect" tree is certainly an important aspect of getting ready for celebrating the season.
ed and i pick out our christmas tree together (when our kids were little they helped, too), but we don't have a tradition as far as where we get the tree. in past years we've purchased trees from the freeport rotary club or our local plant nursery, or we have found trees on our land or ed's mother's land in harpswell.
the bought trees are always tree farm lush and perfectly formed with dense fingers of needles and a thick coat of branches. the wild trees are more of the charlie brown variety—thin, scraggly, lots of space between the branches (ornaments actually hang better and are more visible on these evergreens), sometimes a gaping hole on the spot where a branch should have grown but couldn't because the tree didn't get enough light or nutrients or something.
personally i have a fondness for imperfect, unwanted wild christmas trees, but we often end up buying a tree because it's easier—we can be awfully lazy—if we don't feel like going all the way up to harpswell and searching for one, cutting it down and dragging it out of the woods; or if we don't have any trees that are the right size in our woods in freeport.
one year i sent ed out alone to get a tree (i believe that was the first and only time he's gone by himself). i don't remember why i didn't go—i was either sick or busy doing something else. he promptly came home with a fine 10 foot tree he purchased from a church fund raiser.
as we put up the tree together—me making sure it was straight in the stand and ed tightening it securely—i looked up and noticed something on a branch in the interior of the tree. when i leaned in closer i discovered a lovely, well-shaped, 5 inch bird's nest. ed had unknowingly bought a christmas tree with a real bird's nest hidden in it! i kept the nest in the tree and put in a little stone bird. since then, when i see abandoned bird's nests or ones which have fallen on the ground, i save them and place the nests in the christmas tree, a small bird nestled in each.
i've never in my life, either before that day or after, found another christmas tree that carried the marvelous surprise of a beautiful nest tucked in its branches.
i wonder, have you?