My husband and I have this tradition, where by every year in early December we put on our warmest clothing, we drive out to the middle of nowhere, and we find a tree to cut down & bring home to decorate for Christmas. It's by far and large the most 'Canadian' thing that we do all year.
First, we must drive up a sketchy-slippery-as-hell logging road. Then, we must find somewhere to park the vehicle where we will not get stuck. This process takes about an hour. Then we venture out into the forest to find a tree. Every 23 seconds I will remark on how deep the snow is. Every 47 seconds I will stop to dig snow out of my boots. Every 3 minutes I will complain about either, A) How cold it is. B) How deep the snow is. C) How dark it is getting. or D) How pathetic all the trees are here and how much more lame they are than the trees in 2012. Or, E.) All of the above, simultaniously. At least 4x during the excursion I will ask when we are going to give up and just go buy a tree like normal people do.
My husband has a GREAT many strengths, and I love him very much.. But he is not generally a very cheerful man. If I had to equate his attitude to a plate of food, he would be a plate of mashed potatoes and a plain pork chop. Just Mehhhhhh. He is never particularly impressed, nor is he ever particularly disappointed. It is both a strength and a weakness of his. I emote enough for the both of us, I suppose. Except for on Tree Cutting Day.
On tree cutting day, my husband is the happiest man on the planet. My husband loves to seek out, and cut down his own Christmas tree. His attitude on tree cutting day, if it were a meal, would be the equivalent of saying "Fuck dinner! Let's just have dessert!" and then having a banana split topped only with pop rocks. He practically skips through the woods. He brings along a little handsaw, and it's the only time that he wears his big snow boots. He looks equal parts silly, and equal parts completely rugged & sexy.
"That one looks promising!" Jerred will say.
"Which one?" I will say.
"That one! 1/2 a mile ahead, just next to the opening of that cave that a bear is definitely hibernating in. Let's go check it out."
...... We check it out. That tree will, in actuality, be 4 pathetic, scrawny trees all growing together in a lump to look (from 1/2 a mile away) like a decent tree. Repeat 3x.
Finally, just as the sun is going down, and the hungry cougar that has been stalking us from the depths of the forest for the last 3 hours is about to pounce, we find our tree.
It is mediocre at best, but it's the best damn tree we have seen all day and we are THRILLED. Jerred squats down and begins pruning some of the under carriage of the tree, and then sets to work cutting the thing down. He's so happy. The happiest he will be all year. I kick at the snow, and worry about someone coming along and giving us hell for cutting down a tree. Even though it's perfectly legal, and we have our stupid permit, it still feels nefarious to go into the forest and just take a tree.
Jerred slings the tree over his shoulder like a fucking boss. He's so manly in this moment it hurts. Testosterone oozes out of his every Canadian pore. All I can think about is inviting him back to the cave up there for a winter quickie. Instead, I remark that he did a good job with the tree this year.. even though it's not nearly as nice as the tree we got in 2012.