oh tannenbaum

When I think of Christmas trees, several memories come to mind:

The tear jerking scene in Swiss Family Robinson when Mrs. Robinson breaks down over the harpsichord. It's Christmas Eve, and she's sure that her sons were sent of on some fool's errand in the name of exploration. Just as she's about to give into utter-dispair, she hears the faint singing in the distance of her two sons, Fritz & Ernst, and the femme-fatale Roberta/Bertie who almost broke the brothers apart.

Swiss Family Robinson was rabidly watched in our house and it's not hard to see why: it involves things kids love - pirates, tree houses, booby traps, tigers, coconut bombs... and gender trickeroos. Ok, kids don't really love that but seriously, any movie industry types looking for the next blockbuster need to remake that movie in a hurry. Guaranteed smash hit.

Also what's kind of weird, that movie was made in 1960 but I could've sworn that Wil Wheaton played Ernst. There's no possible way that could've happened. But in my head, the two actors are exactly the same. See my comparison below.

Identical right? For those of you who don't know Wil Wheaton by name, he played Ensign Crusher in StarTrek: The Next (best in my opinion) Generation, and Gordy LaChance in the ultimate coming of age movie, Stand By Me.

I've really digressed.

The other memory that Christmas trees bring is the story my dad tells when he brought a sickly sapling into our living one room as a "joke." Note, my dad's jokes on frugality are/were strongly grounded in reality, so you can see why the punchline was muddled. Anyway, he brought in this hideous tree we dubbed the Charlie Brown tree because it was so pathetic. My dad claims that when I saw it I cried. Also, I was probably 12. This definitely didn't happen, but I did cry when he gave me a haircut with a pair of rusty garden shears from the 40's that were probably meant to "thin" hair as opposed to actually cut it.

Getting ugly trees actually became a tradition that we really enjoyed. Some years we'd go into the national forest and poach reclaim a tree that probably was going to die because it was growing too close to another tree. We'd do it in the middle of the night - super fun. That was Ashley's first introduction to Pulsipher Christmas tree hunting actually - sneaking into the woods and cutting down a tree. So much fun.

This year we started a new tradition. We went with Chad and Kimber to go hunt for trees. Chad is somewhat of an expert on trees, and Kimber is advanced in delicate tree care (they put ice cubes in their tree bowls!).

After some thorough hunting... we found a little guy that suited our humble home. The great place about this lot was that it included stands, so we wouldn't have to buy one. But the true piece de resistance of the night was strapping our little tree into my bicycle trailer and riding home.

It was really awesome. I have to admit, one of the really fun things about owning/using a bicycle trailer is seeing the look on people's faces as I ride past. It's almost as if I can see them thinking, "wow, why don't I try that" or "that looks like a lot of fun." Maybe they are thinking, "that guy is a world class loser." Who knows? I do know that I get an immense amount of satisfaction in doing things on a bike that most people would use a car for.

The night was a huge success - and we spread holiday cheer in the process. As we crossed the street cars started honking in celebration and one guy yelled out "Merry Christmas!"

What are your Christmas tree tales?


Johnny said...

Swiss Family Robinson, two thumbs up. You forgot to mention the tigers, and riding ostriches. Whilst dating Emily I was appalled to learn that she had never seen "Stand By Me" (or "Goonies"). I quickly set out to rectify the situation. We were heading to the check out when Emily said, "This is rated R." If only the ratings standards had been as lax back then as they are now.

Serena Cherry said...

I'll have to post our Christmas tree shopping photos, but I love the trailer! I would have given you a honk and definitely would have yelled, "Merry Christmas!" out the window.

david said...

i did mention tigers... but you're right, i did forget the riding ostriches.

our favorite lines from SFR are the pirate, for sure.

"you bring the boy, down hill. you hear!?"

"we hear you, you want the boy, you come and get him, we're ready for you."

i remember watching stand by me at a very early age. nothing really that bad in it, other than naughty language.

lets see those pictures serena. i know you would've honked in approval at us.

Liz said...

Swiss Family Robinson, I haven't seen that movie in at least 15 years. But I watched it so many times as a kid. I know the exact scene when the mom breaks down at the piano. Classic.

Ok, you're probably going to think I'm lame, but I have a fake tree. I always had one growing up, too. My mom claimed it was her allergies, but I always knew it was her OCD cleanliness tendencies. Just the thought of a pine needle hitting the floor is enough to send that lady to the nuthouse.

Dawn D. Lion said...

David, you are a biking hero. Also, this was a really funny post.
We put up a beautiful tree last night. I sent Maxine and Jason to get it by themselves, which I realized is what I need to do every year because without my disapproving frugality they came home with a big, gorgeous tree that makes us all happy.

TJ & Christi Brooke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blythe said...

"Come here, little elephant. I wouldn't hurt you."

david said...

"... i just wanna be your friend"

nice one blythe. i forgot about that.

dawn/blythe - did you guys like swiss family robinson too or were you just forced into it because we liked it so much?

Dawn D. Lion said...

Nah, I loved it. Especially the gender switcheroo. That's probably more appealing to adolescent girls. I liked the stuff with the romance as an early teen.

david said...

i totally liked fritz more than ernst. ernst was a squirrelly little egghead - whereas fritz was the hunk that got the girl. it's clear who i was supposed to idolize.

Blythe said...

I liked it too, even though the pirate scene at the end is totally cartoonish. My favorite line is actually when they pull off Roberta's hat and she cries, "It was because of the pirates!"

Alison said...

look at the belly!!!