Be The Best.

Even trees have new normals.

Last year, almost to the day, Max, Chris, Ingrid and I went out to fetch our Christmas Tree.

We’ve tried a few different places over the years, but two sort of were favourites and Church’s Christmas Tree farm on 248th won out in December 2009.

I loved that morning.  Max had to work so we hit the tree farm a little earlier in the day  (like 11am…CRAZY for  teenagers!!), Chris was half asleep.  It was stupid fun with bad jokes and I’m sure some tree puns thrown in for good measure.  Hey, let’s ‘leaf’ that one alone and ‘branch’ into this area.  I’m really sorry ‘fir’ you that you had to read that.  Anyways, you get the point.

I shot this vid last year that many of you saw at Chris’ funeral or early on in this blog experience.  It really showed our family in action at that point in our lives.

That was then.  This is now.

I wasn’t sure how we would approach the tree this year.  I wasn’t sure I even wanted one.  But that’s the beauty of not being on this journey by myself.  We talked to Max and he wanted a tree without question.  He also wanted to go chop one down like we always do.  I actually didn’t need to hear anything else.

Of course.  Not everything can change because Chris is gone.  Somethings need to remain.  So as long as Max wants to, we’ll be off to the woodlot!

Given crazy schedules and Max’s work as a lifeguard, we jumped at a late Friday afternoon timeframe and arrived at our ‘2nd family tradition’ tree farm just before dusk last night.  Max’s girlfriend joined us, we grabbed some coffee and hot chocolate and shivered our way into the trees.  After a few bad jokes and very normal arguments about which was the perfect tree, Max did the honours and sawed it down and we carried it to the vehicle.

For yours truly, of course I was thinking of Chris.  I think everyone was to some degree, but the fact was it’s early December…this is the time we always get our tree and we’ve been chopping down these wonderful trees for years and they are a wonderful part of our Christmas experience as a family.  Why should that stop now?

Thanks Max for helping me figure that out.

And that’s the new normal with Christmas trees.

By Randy Friesen

Randy Friesen is a business strategist, manager and educator based in Vancouver, BC and Detroit, Michigan. He is also a husband and father. He loves the creative process and is active in creating art and music.

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