Griswold Family Field Trip

What started out as an innocent suggestion last year turned into reality this year.  Husband Jared and I thought that since we live in the frozen tundra now that it might be time for our Things to experience the thrill of cutting down our own Christmas tree.  For the record, yes, we did have grand illusions that it might turn into something vaguely reminiscent of Clark Griswold and the family standing in the snow while hypothermia slowly creeps in and we can no longer feel our lower extremities. I am happy to report that did not happen. 
So, innocently enough, the Sunday afternoon past, we embarked on our adventure.  The two of us had researched, "best places to cut down your own Christmas tree in MN" and immediately there were a plethora of results.  Our search was narrowed to a 50 mile radius and of course a farm that supplied everything we would need.  Mainly saws, twine and their expertise.  Such a place was discovered and the six of us had a lovely drive through Anoka, the Halloween capital of the world, and across the Mississippi, until we arrived at said farm.  In true Hanson fashion we had deprived the Things of any electronic devices on this field trip of sorts so we were graced with singing, complaining and questions.  Not to mention sign reading, a little napping and maybe even some eye rolling.  Soon enough we arrived.  Since the season had not officially began, that apparently happens after Thanksgiving, there was no Santa to visit and no Christmas music playing.  What we did see was a farm.  Complete with various evergreen species as far as the eye could travel.  Couldn't have asked for anything better! 
With our map in hand, the scouts in the back of the family wagon and optimism on our side Husband Jared hit the trail and this is what we saw.
Can you even believe how blue that sky is? 
So, dirt roads, sometimes, rocky, miles and miles of trees and the blue sky above.  Oh, how could I forget the wind?  Very blustery day.  Moving on.  Husband Jared wound around the farm, until we were at the river.  Once there we parked and all six of us descended on the trees, inspecting them each carefully and looking for just the right one.   Not too furry, has to have a branch for our angel, no brown needles, not too fluffy, etc.  The list goes on and on.  As it usually does with four very differing opinions.  After this first stop it was quite clear our tree was not to be found here.  Back in the car.  On and on we drove.  Scanning the fields.  To no avail.  Well actually, we did see the absolute most beautiful tree.  Only draw back, it was about 6 feet too tall.  Definitely would have been a Griswold family moment with that on the hood of Sven.  Sorry, Sven is our Volvo's name.  What, you don't name your vehicles?  Hmm.  We just thought everyone needs a Sven, and so it stuck.  Sidetracked again.  I apologize. 
And then it happened.  Kind of like in the movie.  Ok, not really but work with me people.  The four Things agreed on a tree.  Thankfully Thing 1 was in quite the agreeable mood given the nature of the weather this particular afternoon.  Well maybe they all were for that reason.  Nonetheless it was a moment I choose to be grateful for.  They all gathered round before the chopping down began. 
And then they each took a go.  Of course Thing 4 wanted to be the very last one so he could yell timber.  We are nothing if not dramatic in this family.  It was "joyful" listening to them coach each other on how to use the saw, what the proper technique was and so forth.  All the while Husband Jared stood back and watched them work. 

Thing 1's turn, with the helpful eye of Thing 4

Yes, Thing 2 really did use the saw, although all you can see here is her hair!

Thing 3, making sure she is actually progressing here in the sawing

Thing 4, ever so close to the finale
Just like that the tree was cut.  Then my two favorite men, pardon me, my man and my little man, carried that beaut to Sven, where we proceeded to cut twine that was left in buckets along the road.  Once secured, or at least somewhat, we all held our breath as we drove along the country roads back to where the experts were.

The helpful employees of this farm baled our tree and assisted Husband Jared in tying it down so it would not fly off on the highway.  Since we were traveling over 50 miles home this was important.  We opened the sun roof so we could all have a look and reassure ourselves that the tree which we had just worked so hard for was not twisting or rolling or sliding off the roof.  I can not even imagine how tragic that would have been. The Things were more than willing to be our watch dogs on the drive home, only about 10 minutes into the drive they were all asleep.  Really.  Maybe the fresh air and sawing wore them out, but Husband Jared and I did not hear a peep from the back seat.  You know what that meant.  I could not take a nap.  Someone had to keep watch on the cargo and that someone was me.  Co pilot extraordinaire.  Or just wife and Mama too.  Whichever works. 
Highlight of the day, this Thing, dancing with her evergreen antlers around our tree.  The delight I took from this moment should be illegal.  This girl keeps me laughing.  Well she actually amuses all of us daily with her antics.  Yet another memory to be grateful for.  I'm not so sure she will be as thankful though when she finds out I posted this here.  Although when she discovered that I shared it with social media as well she promptly went to my photos and showed me a better picture I should have used.  Really?

Anyhow, the tree and all of us made it home safely.  No road side stops to collect fallen trees or anything like that.  Thankfully.  With a  new stand, white twinkly lights and excited Things our tree is now standing beautifully in our home.  Filling the air with the scent of pine and the dark wood floors with pine needles.  And to that I say with cheer, 'tis the season!

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