“Be vewy qwiet…”

“We’re hunting cwistmas twees….hehehe”

Well, enough Fudd-isms, as we no longer do such foolish things. But the day after Black Friday, before American Express sponsored it, used to be known as…Saturday. Quite the revelation, I know.

My older brother and our dad had taken to procuring a real honest-to-gosh Christmas tree for the folks’ place on this mighty day. With the appearance of my lovely eldest daughter, I joined in the quest. When you have baby at home, suddenly tossing some lights on top of a six foot tall artificial plant that was there all the time, didn’t seem to cut it. The boys had done their due diligence and found that Ulbrich’s tree farm had a good selection of free range trees (A joke for those of who take shopping at the co-op too seriously). While the good folks at Ulbrichs had already had some on the lot already pre-cut and ready to be attached to your car, those were for the wimps, the candy-assed & generally inferior.

Okay, chances are those were also taken by the smarter people, but the real men, the hairy chested, not afraid of rear-wheel drive cars, drinkers in the good dive bars, went to get our own. Well, it was also cheaper to cut your own down as it saved the Ulbrichs folks from doing it. In our thriftiness, we also became snobs. That first one, that’s a good one, but let’s see what else is out there. My first escapade on this adventure had either my dad or I leaving a glove to mark a potentially worthy tree. From a distance it looked like the glove was giving us the finger. That system evolved as the old man made markers out of material, so we could TRACK the trees, as the good ones wouldn’t stay where we left them.

The uniting factor in all this is that I think with one exception the weather was mostly crappy. It was raining one year and even the staff was looking at us like we were nuts, which truth be told, we probably were. Either rain, snow, or ground that mostly resembled walking on a fudge sundae, it was never ideal, but you came away with the right tree from the space. I don’t think it mattered much to my kids where the tree came from, but it was an all too rare window in my brother’s soul. He battles a variety of issues, but can tell you about each jaunt in remarkable detail, even though we stopped some years ago.

That is what I take away, when I read about people tsk-tsk-ing about the midnight shoppers Thursday night, or self-righteously shopping local because a credit card company told them too, I tend to think more about this kind of silly stuff. There wasn’t a year that we didn’t look like the Keystone Kops heading into the woods of Alden, and that was pretty cool.

That said, shop the local shops at the damn time, the Black Friday deals are marketing (as they pop up again and again, during the year and the season) and cyber monday? Click on the “watch” buttons and you don’t have to do things because some smarmy marketer told you so. I say this as one of those smarmy marketers.

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