The day after the Land Trust's annual Tree Hunt, I took my family out to the Metolius Preserve to cut our own Christmas Tree. We've done this for the past 5 years and it's always a fun little adventure that gets slightly more complicated with each additional child. This year was our first attempt with two kids getting two trees.
The morning was perfect for tree hunting--snowy and cold. Once we survived getting everyone out of the house with winter clothes piled on, and then answered the 1000 questions about where, how, and when we would find our Christmas Tree, we settled into the drive to the Metolius Preserve.
As we drove up the main access road Will asked, "Mommy is this where you protect the deer? Yes sweetie." How to explain a nature preserve to a 3 1/2 year old--well it's where we protect the deer!
We unloaded everyone and put Zoe in the backpack and Will in the sled and then headed out into the forest to find some trees. The sled--previously thought as a great idea--instead provided a bumpy, wild ride through the manzanita, and was ditched within the first 10 feet.
Will was then installed on Andrew's shoulders and we hiked through the snow to a few trees that looked promising. As with each tree hunt, we suddenly found ourselves deeper into the forest than we intended. We stopped, looked around and decided that there MUST be a good tree right here!
Will agreed to try walking on the snow and quickly discovered he could throw himself around without harm. As we (well Andrew, really) began to cut a tree, Will made snow angels and Zoe gurgled on my back. We found a neighboring tree for my folks, and then realized we had to get the trees back to the car. That shouldn't too bad right? How far away were we?
The short of it is that trees get heavier when carrying a child and coaxing another to keep walking. I now have immense admiration for Andrew who last year carried tree and child! Back at the car the sled became finally useful as we taught our dog how to pull the kids around on the snowy road. (Dog exercised+happy kids+time outside=good day!)
Our family tree hunt ended successfully with only minor tears here and there. As we drove back home, our car practically eaten by the two trees on top, Andrew and I looked at each other and thought "that was manageable...it won't be too long before Will can carry a tree, right?"
May your tree hunt be successful and filled with mayhem! Happy holidays to you and yours!