The Holidays Are All Downhill from Here

2018-12-03 – Our favorite day of the holiday season is the day that we go out to the country to cut down our tree. That was yesterday. The rest of the season is now all downhill. We have nothing to look forward to.

If you don’t know me, Christmas isn’t even my holiday. I’m Jewish. Hanukkah is my holiday, but far from my favorite. Christmas means a lot to my wife Kit, of course. She’s not Jewish. If Christmas makes her happy, it makes me happy.

I had no Christmas traditions at the time we were married, for obvious reasons—or not much. Going to Denny’s because nowhere else was open, isn’t much of a tradition. So my contribution to my new family when I got married was to suggest we go out into the country to cut our tree.

And so it became a tradition.

For 25 years out of 28 we’ve gone to Pioneer Tree Farm north of McHenry, IL. One year, they closed unusually early due to a bad planting season seven years before, and two years (including this year) they were closed due to excessive mud, so we went to different tree farms that had excessive mud and didn’t close.

In spite of the mud, we got a good tree this year.

It is always a great trip, regardless of weather. The whole family goes. And, now, my sons Nat and Cal bring along their girlfriends Abi and Heather (and Heather’s dog Jack). We stop first at the Riverside Chocolate Factory in McHenry for ice cream and candy. Then we tramp around the fields looking for the best tree. Our favorite is always the White Pine. It is wispy (sometimes like a Charlie Brown tree) and the needles are long and soft, so it doesn’t hurt pets or humans who decorate them. This year’s tree is a pretty full tree—one of the best we’ve had.

And when we got home with it this year, we lit the Hanukkah candles, had some holiday pizza, and decorated the tree.

Santa’s not going to bring us a better day this year.

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