The Christmas tree farm opened this morning. Usually we don't venture in there on opening day because it's chaos, and although I love chaos that I am orchestrating, I don't like chaos others are orchestrating. So, avoidance.
But this morning, the spouse needed to go to the office, and I had an early hair appointment, so we decided to make a morning out of it, and ventured into the tree farm at about 10:30 a.m.
You could still see the whites of the eyes of the employees when we pulled in. We didn't know it, but on opening day, you're supposed to drive into the Irvine Meadows parking lot and walk into the tree farm from there.
(Every year as we are choosing our tree, I can't help but look up into the sea of empty seats and lawn at Irvine Meadows and smile reminiscently about the shows I've seen there. Similarly, when I'm sitting at Irvine Meadows, I look over at the tree farm and wonder which tree I'll end up with come November.)
Still, they let us in at the usual entrance. In a shaking voice, the man told us that 4,000 people had descended upon the tree farm an hour and a half earlier. "Some of them," he said in wonderment, "had been in the parking lot since 3 a.m."
Who knew people were so concerned about getting that perfect tree?!
Anyway, we drove down the row for the medium-sized trees, hopped out of the car, pawed at a few likely candidates, and made a decision on which one we all liked. In under five minutes. We high-fived the son, who had found the tree we all liked, hopped back in the car, and drove off to the trailer to pay.
Everyone was happy. In a month or so, we will go back to claim the tree--I am a firm believer in waiting until the last possible moment to put it up--clean it up, try to remove wayward snails and decorate away.
Go listen to some good music: "O Tannenbaum" from the album Joy to the World by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.