We have a Christmas tree! For quite a few years now getting a live tree has been part of my parents' traditions, and it's been part of bunny_hugger's, and we were certainly planning to get one for this year. What's a little different for me is, first, that we went to a tree farm rather than to the Grange hall that's somehow tucked between Target and Walmart and Pizza Hut; and second, that we'd be cutting it down. Specifically me cutting it down, so I would get the full blast of tradition. Well, not the full blast: it was around 40 degrees and there wasn't any snow on the ground.
The tree farm, just a few minutes away (I'm still surprised how many things are just a few minutes away, compared to how everything is at least twenty minutes from my parents' house), had coffee and hot chocolate and doughnuts and bunny_hugger's parents, who arrived a half-hour before noon, when we were expecting to meet them, so that we wouldn't be slowed down by their tree-selecting process. They got one of the pre-cut, pre-wrapped trees from up front.
So we got on the wagon to ride maybe a half-mile or so to the other station, where there was a fire pit, more hot drinks, and a penned reindeer who'd recently shed his antlers. We set out into the white pines and in surprisingly short order bunny_hugger picked up a wild-growing marijuana leaf, scandalizing her mother. Back on our mission, we found a tree that looked about seven and a half feet tall and was pleasantly symmetrical and lush. So that was my chance to drop to the ground and saw it down, which was a new experience for me. I wasn't able to get a smooth, steady saw motion going, so my father probably wouldn't have approved of my form, but it only took a couple minutes of work. The tree farm folks drilled a spike, and after sitting in front of the fire drinking coffee and chocolate some we were ready to return.
We did pick up a couple bits of decoration --- particularly, some sparkly silver garlanded needles that give the tree that snow-frosted look and which looks neatly close to the tree's actual needles --- and got home. After this the pet rabbit's been trying to not let us catch him licking his lips and figure what the tastiest parts of the tree are.
Trivia: After the 1907 baseball season Ty Cobb refused to play unless his salary was raised to $5,000 per year for a three-year contract. He returned in March 1908 for $4,800.
Currently Reading: The Roads Of Home: Lanes And Legends Of New Jersey, Henry Charlton Beck. Now, here's a legend to close things off, of the regional Indian fighter Tom Quick. Allegedly, after he died, the Indians captured his body and burned it, but as he'd had smallpox, the disease spread with his ashes and he supposedly killed more Indians in death as he had in life. Gruesome but that really makes you feel the frontier, when the frontier was around the Delaware River.