Let me back up a bit and explain why we were traipsing through a tree farm on a brisk October day. We found Exley's last year when we were once again in search of the perfect place to find our perfect tree. We are pretty tough to please in this department since we tend to ask a lot of our trees, mainly that 1. they are ginormous and 2. they stay alive for a bazillion years (read: six-seven weeks). We've been able to find places to "cut your own tree" (which helps with requirement #2), and we've been able to find places with pre-cut ginormous trees, we have never been able to find a place that allowed us to find both. So last year we took a trip over the bridge to dirty Jersey and drove an hour to Exley's (Side note: I find evidence that God has a sense of humor in that many of the things I love the most are in dirty Jersey. Namely christmas trees, wine, greyhounds, and my best friends). Lo and behold - Exley's was everything we wanted and more - a huge field of mature trees just waiting to be cruely cut down in their prime and dragged through the mud to become the centerpiece of our holiday traditions. Seriously there was just tree after tree. As A giggled and clapped his hands like an excited schoolgirl, we began the search in ernest. Quickly we found it - the perfect tree! We looked for a price tag and only found a red tie. We searched for an elf to help us and our hopes were dashed when we learned the meaning of the red tie - the tree had already been selected! Bought and paid for! Well, no worries then, there were plenty of trees. Plenty of trees - all with the tell-tale red tie. A was so sad - so many perfect trees, so many red ties. It was then that we learned the awful truth - Exley's allows tagging to begin at HALLOWEEN! Art was enranged - he yelled, loudly - "BUT THAT IS NOT FAIR! THAT IS CHEATING! CHEATING AT CHRISTMAS!" Dejected and tree-less, we went to Exley's second farm where we found a lovely White Pine, but I am not going to lie to you, our holiday was marred by The Tree That Got Away.
Determined not to let it happen again, A sent me an actual Outlook appointment request for Halloween 2010. Fast forward to this year, when at 8:30 am on October 31 I opened my eyes to A's smiling face - "LET'S GO GET OUR TREE!!!" I begged for another hour of sleep but he would not be dissauded, telling me that I was lucky that we hadn't slept in the parking lot last night. So there we were, once again on the road to Exley's.
We arrived to face the expanse of beautiful trees. A was momentarily shocked to learn that since Halloween was on a Sunday this year tagging had actually begun the day before, a fact that caused great indignation and almost ruined the day (and in truth - although his mood rallied A could not help but point out EVERY TREE that had a red tie and that it would have probably been THE ONE).
Isn't it BEA-U-TIFUL? It is a lovely Norway Spruce. Shorter needles and stronger branches for our menagrie of heavy christmas ornaments. It is quite tall (as you can see by A's comparison) and very chubby. We are only nervous that it will last til Christmas as it has a reputation for being less hardy than other species, but we have to risk it for our perfect little (enormous) tree.
Compass wonders what presents Santa will leave under there this year. A new bed? A giant bone? A screaming monkey? The possibilities are endless.