- Christmas in Texas
Standing saw in hand, the smell of raw pine sap pulling the hairs out of my nostrils, I realised that I really was in a foreign country. This year, we drove on up to a Tree Farm, in the quite far north of Dallas, heading right up near Oklahoma.
We nervously trudged once parked towards the buildings, corrugated tin, and walked in to find a veritable Santa’s grotto. A lovely (clean) shop full of hand made Christmas ornaments, as well as free cups of hot coffee (well, it was all of 50 degrees after all, in bright sunshine), and a free saw which they hand over to you in order that you can cut the tree of your choice.
The people there were so very friendly, as we find most real Texans are — it’s the American’s from other parts of the US who are often more snobby and difficult to foreigners, in our experience — and deeply impressed that we were from good ol’ Blighty.
One short tractor ride (sitting on hay bales on a trailer, hence it’s called a ‘hay ride’), and some sawing later, and we were in possession of a genuine Texas Christmas tree. This being texas, and it being our first year, we choose to turn our noses up at the european and northern North America style Christmas trees, with the short stubby needles, and select a graceful and slim Loblolly Pine to honour our humble flat.
It was a terrific experience, and on the way back we discovered a beautiful part of countryside, with rolling hills and decorative houses, which we will no doubt explore again. And the girls loved it.
Christmas was just wonderful, from the hand-cut tree, to the handmade decorations we hung on it, to the organic free-range turkey dinner, to the guests we had, both from Texas and from Britain.
I uttered a sigh of contentment, as Christmas slipped unconsciously into New Year, as those days tend to do.