Since I have been in diapers my parents would bundle up my 3 siblings (one brother and two sisters) and I, pack us into my dad's pickup truck, and take us to the tree farm. There, we would get to cut down our very own Christmas Tree.
Nestled in a valley about 20 minutes outside my hometown of Eau Claire and surrounded by forest, sits Pleasant Valley Tree Farm.
After arriving at the tree farm, we would all load into a big wagon and sit on the blanket covered hay bales. A man on a tractor would pull us out into the fields of pine trees and leave us to find our tree of choice. Since my brother and I were old enough to walk, my dad always found it amusing to push us off the back of the wagon and watch us run and scream, trying to get back on. Yes, this sounds cruel but it was just harmless fun and a good lesson (stay away from the back of the wagon). But as we got older and bigger the roles reversed. I will always hold on to the memory of finally being "man enough" to push his 6'3" 220lb frame off the back of the wagon and watch him run trying to get back on. That feeling was very satisfying.
After we had walked around for at least an hour trying to decide on the perfect tree, we would always battle over who got to lay on the ground and help dad trim off the lower branches before we cut down the tree. Although, no one ever fought over who got to drag it back to the wagon. Dad always got that job, while mom and her four little kids would walk along behind him.
Fast forward to present day. Being married (without kids of my own) my wife and I still love honoring this tradition. And someday when I have children of my own, they are going to learn the hard lesson of "staying away from the back of the wagon".
Wooden toggle duffle coat by AE Outfitters (2005); Slim fit trucker jacket and sweater by Levi's; Check pattern button down shirt, watch band and boot socks by J. Crew; Hat by Target; Drake Camo pants by Rogue Territory; Watch face by Timex; Gloves by H&M; Suede boots (unknown brand) thrifted and resoled with a Vibram boot sole.