The holidays are the important part of our year. My family’s traditions never really confused me. Around Thanksgiving, the tree and decorations go up. And the tree was never one of those nice smelling real ones. We always had the plastic ones. I’d never even gotten to go tree picking until my friend Julia’s family invited me to theirs.
It was a nice day temperature-wise. My outfit had only been a light jacket, long sleeved shirt, and a pair of jeans. My sneakers didn’t quite fit right. As I walked, my feet slid back and forth. Julia wore less for warmth. She was used to Illinois weather. Cold. Her parents were dressed similarily. I don’t remember where her older brother was. I don’t remember him being there.
After a long, boring trip we arrived to a building made of wood. A tree, painted in green paint, was right above the door. Mrs. Laing took us into the building and while we went to the bathroom spoke to the man. When I came out, a guide sat in a car with a trailer on the back. Hay–my worse enemy–were used as seats. We road out to the trees.
Pine assaulted my nose. Rows of trees, like the stacks of a library, seemed to go on endlessly. Julia and I walked through the trees.
“I’ve never done this before,” I said.
“Really?” Julia asked, assessing a tree. “We do it every year. What do you think of this one?”
“Where’s it going?”
“In the living room.”
“It needs to be thicker,” I said, looking around. None of the immediate ones seemed right for the Laing family. We walked to the next section. I suggested one, but Julia said that it was too tall. It started getting dark and colder. Julia and I looked around until one of us spotted the perfect tree. After agreeing, I went to get her parents. We loaded the car up and went home.
My grandparents picked me up before I could help them decorate it.