Because of December birthdays and our work schedules, we run around like headless chickens during the first weeks of December. This means that we miss the warmer temps, and we're usually in the middle of the cold snap by the time our schedules allows us to go Christmas tree shopping. Not a big deal, but it's usuallly so cold by that time that I just want to get out of the car, snag a tree, and get back in the car post-haste.
It was no different a couple of years ago. Jamie, Georgia and I piled in the car in the biting cold weather, and by the time the car heated up, we were at the Christmas tree lot. We unpiled, and grabbed whatever trees were close for inspection; and this is how inspection goes: I see a tree. Jamie holds and spins it around so I can give it the once-over. This all happens in between keeping an eye on our daughter and telling her to stay close and/or stop sticking her hands in the snow because her knit gloves will get wet and only make her hands cold. Then, if it's a decent tree - relatively straight trunk, no Charlie Brown pine needle shedding -- I give my blessing. If no blessing is given, we keep looking and the cycle starts all over again.
Well, that particular year it just so happened that the first tree we found was a good tree, but Jamie, searching for perfection, suggested that finding a tree so soon was just too good to be true. I agreed. He put it back with the others and we went on to see what greener pastures the next row had in store. Halfway through the next row, the wind howled and blew a chill through all of us. Smarter heads prevailed and we high-tailed our way back to the perfect tree...only to see it being carted off by another family.
Thirty minutes and thirty frozen fingers later, we were on our way home with another, not as perfect tree. So we learned. From now on, we take the first perfect or near-perfect Christmas tree and run. Or at least walk quickly before the temperature drops below freezing.