It is all about the hunt. Yesterday afternoon we piled into the car and drove out to the nearby Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree. Cutting down your tree is much more fun than going to the local grocery store parking lot to claim your tree. In our family, the Noble Fur is the only acceptable Christmas tree available and even Super Wal-Mart doesn’t carry them. You have to get your shoes muddy.
I’ve finally accepted the fact that looking for a Christmas tree has little to do with finding the perfect tree. If finding the right tree was based solely on measurable parameters, we would have been done in five minutes. The first tree we came across was just as good as the tree we finally cut down. In fact if you were to put them side by side you wouldn’t be able to recognize the difference. But, the hunt has to last at least 40 minutes. This gives ample time for everyone to process the validity of their own irrational parameters and get tired of defending their requirements against the requirements of others. After 40 minutes, every tree looks good and everyone is ready to cut.
The exercise sounded something like this. “Oh this tree looks good. Come take a look.” Everyone agreed the tree would do, but for some reason, people walked away with the hope that something better was in store. “Come over here. I think this one will do.” The same realization was made with tree number two, and three, and four, and so on. Sure they all had their subtle differences, but if given the chance, no one could articulate why the search needed to continue. We just hadn’t spent enough time. The first tree that was suggested after 40 minutes rolled around got the saw.
Once again timing is everything. And when we finally dragged the tree inside and placed it in the stand, I have to admit, it was the perfect tree. At least we had a great time roaming the field getting muddy. I believe that story illustrates a lesson in life, but I think I will keep that commentary to my personal journal.