Every time I go to the store and see the bundles of evergreens for sale I shake my head. I cannot imagine paying money for that which I can get for free. Not only do I get it for free, but it is a beautiful bonding experience, nope I would not trade that for any amount of money.
Last Friday Christopher was most fortunate to have the day off of work. The weather was unseasonably warm (I love global warming... please don't tell the tree huggers that). It was the perfect day to make our annual pilgrimage out to the forests that are in our area.
I know that I sound like a broken record on this one, but I am blessed to live in this part of the country. I am surrounded by nature. That means that those who dwell in the cities must get their greenery for holiday decorating from merchants, I on the other hand need only drive a few kilometers to find a plethora of greenery, for free! Honestly it is one of my most favourite holiday traditions.
We loaded Elly into the car, along with gardening shears and bags for pine cones. I set the satellite radio for the Christmas station and we headed out. We drove up lonely dirt roads in search of the perfect greenery. We would stop, collect one or two branches and move along. The forrest was so beautifully quiet. It would be very difficult to be stressed for very long standing in that quiet. There were the call of birds, the rustle of pine, it was peace. Every now and then we would let Elly out of the car to search for pine cones.
Her little face was alight with pure joy as she darted beneath the evergreen trees in search of pine cone treasure. The quiet forrest noises were occasionally interrupted by delighted squeals of "I found a pine cone!!!" She was single minded in her search of the perfect pine cones.
A few hours of tranquility and fresh country air and our van was packed to the roof with our spoils of nature. The van smelled heavenly with a potpourri of different greenery smells. We exited the van feeling lighter, happier. We had mugs of hot chocolate on our minds. This is a beautiful tradition.
Christopher and Elly and I emptied the van and began to sort out our haul into piles of like materials. By the time we were finished my hands were covered in pine sap. I started to giggle thinking about that scene from Christmas Vacation where Clark has had his mini-nervous breakdown and cut down the yuppy neighbours pine tree. He is lying in bed looking at a magazine and his hands keep sticking to the pages, tearing them out. I could really commiserate with Clark. There seems to be no amount of washing or scrubbing that will take all of the pine sap off of your hands!