Growing up in Collegeville, PA was a unique experience. Our house was half a mile away from a Wegman’s and 100 yards from a tree farm. It was truly a special area.
Now even though we lived extremely close to a Christmas tree farm, we still had to bring the car over to farm to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.


We would arrive at Varner’s Christmas Tree Farm and would be immediately greeted by their notable sign saying “All children left behind will be made into elves.” I imagine this sign helped the farm keep children under control as there was a maze and petting zoo.

The best part of picking out the perfect tree was the amazing hot cider Varner’s had. The first cup was free and every drink after was just a quarter. Needless to say, I had my way with a few gallons of the stuff.

Dad would grab the handsaw that was always provided by the farm. It was somewhere in between the sharpness of a butter knife and spoon, and would take extra long the eventually cut down the tree.

We were a Douglas Fir family. It was the perfect tree for holding ornaments and always looked full. The tree had to have the perfect roundness and no dead spots. It also had to be large. My dream is to one day have a Christmas tree that bends at the top like in "Christmas Vacation."

We would walk through the farm, through the mud, through the frost until we spotted the perfect tree. The smell of the sap as you cut down the tree was always the best part. It beats any cologne on the market.

Now some people may say hauling the tree, decorating the tree, or even putting the star on top was there favorite part of making the tree perfect. My favorite part of the Christmas tree process was how we would dispose of the plant. Our tree was always in our living room right next to a window. So after New Year’s Day we would turn that tree sideways and shove it out the window.

I finally felt how the Grinch felt when he stole Christmas, and it surprisingly warmed my heart.

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