Early afternoon on Sunday, after a blanket of snow blessed the grounds of the Capital Region, I decided to take a car ride with my family and help them pick out a Christmas tree. And by help them, I mean bring my camera and take over 100 photographs of them picking out a tree, throwing snowballs, and posing in front of a vast field full of small pine trees.
I wish I could say I remember the years we drove out to the middle of nowhere (only 20 minutes outside of Albany and it gets very rural) to pick out a tree in some field and saw it down. I do however, vaguely remember the years driving up to Delaware Ave near downtown Albany and picking out a tree from a large variety of pre-cut pines that lay sad and cold up against the fences that surrounded the tennis courts in Lincoln Park. And our favorite police officer from the Police Athletic League would saw the bottom off for us and help us tie it to our car. My memory is not the greatest, but I try really hard to think back on those times and attempt to remember them fondly.
This year we drove out to East Greenbush, walked through a few aisles of pre-cut trees that they had shipped in from Canada because, “We couldn’t grow ours fast enough,” and picked out a tree that lay on a small pile of other trees. It took us a whopping 5-10 minutes to pick out “The One,” and the remaining 10 minutes that we spent there were filled with massive snowballs being thrown around at one another, mostly by my brothers.
When the tree was all tied to the roof of our car, we were summoned back to the family minivan, and that was that.
Despite the brief trip, I would like to try and remember how I felt driving with my family (Mom, Dad, Peter, Cailin & Aidan): weirdly nostalgic, but also happy & warm inside. As goofy and cheesy as that may sound, it’s true. As we bundled up and filed into the car, I couldn’t help but think these are the stupid little moments I want to remember. And so I bring my camera and hope that I remember them 50 years from now.