Today we went to get our Christmas tree. We went to Intratuin – a gardening center in Almere – that we know sells trees before the 5th of December. Most Dutch don’t buy their tree this early because they first celebrate Sinterklaas and then after he leaves, they then focus on Christmas. Last year we got a lot of chuckles from people regarding how “early” we’d bought our tree. Meanwhile, it’s an American tradition to buy right after Thanksgiving. Ahhhh different cultures…always something!
Anyways, we got our tree and had the tree guy tie it to the roof. It’s raining and 50kph (30mph) winds. So not exactly the best time to be buying but since stores close here around 5PM, it’s not really an option for the 4 of us to go during the week so it was today or wait another week. I asked Josh to take a picture as we left the lot – just in case we lost the tree on the way. Hmmm… could I have been predicting something?
Barely 1 mile from the garden center, on the main road, the kids suddenly started screaming that it was falling and we could feel the tree shifting position, even as we were driving. We just didn’t realize how much. I was driving ridiculously slow now with my hazards on and trying to find a spot to pull over.
That’s when the policeman pulled up behind us. Yes, of course that’s what happened. Did you think it would be that easy? Thankfully he was super nice and told us we were about to lose our tree, which we had pretty much suspected (and at that point Josh was already out of the car).
I looked out the car and yup, the tree had gone from vertical along the middle of the car to completely horizontal and ready to fall off the back of the trunk. He suggested we pull over to the next intersection into a lot. I wish I’d gotten a picture but it wasn’t exactly the appropriate moment with the police officer there.
We pulled over and he followed us. He was so kind and shook our hands and everything, asked where we needed to go. He didn’t offer to help or anything – let’s not go too far here! Stumped, we were trying to figure out how we were going to fix this. We brought some extra twine, but alas, forgot to bring scissors… hmm…. that’s not going to help.
Could we put it in the back of the car with the kids? Well, not ideal since it meant the kids having to ride on each other’s laps, but it was that or leave Josh and the tree in the lot, bring the kids home and come back for him. Also not really an option (though we did consider it for a moment).
In the end, we were thankful (ironic being the day after Thanksgiving for us!) that we had bought a smaller tree than last year and it was able to fit from the trunk to the front seat. Crisis averted and my car now has a lovely pine scent that many of you have to pay good money for! Not me!
Hoping the holiday season goes just slightly smoother from here on out, but happy to say, we’ve got a tree, made it home and only slightly worse for the wear!