I have to admit, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is probably my favorite holiday movie out there and even more so this holiday season as I had a series of Clark Griwold moments following the discovery of the perfect Christmas tree, nay, The Smith Family Christmas Tree at Normandy Farms in Foxborough.
Back in the first weekend of December, Amanda and I set out to find our first Christmas tree for our new place in Foxborough.
That's right, I’m happy to report that your local editor of Foxborough Patch is now also a town resident. We moved into a great place on Chestnut Street this past November and love everything about living in town … except maybe that brown water!
Anyways, as we began our search for the perfect Christmas tree we had two rules:
- It had to be real
- It had to be big
So, after gathering some intel on where the best trees in town are from Foxborough residents via the Foxborough Patch Facebook page, I began my journey in true Griswold fashion.
We stumbled upon Normandy Farms while looking for another place selling Christmas trees and were pleasantly surprised. The folks running the Christmas tree operation at Normandy Farms were top notch, providing us with everything we needed to get a tree. From supplies to information, they heped out with everything. They also offered warmth and a hot drink if we were to get cold looking for our tree.
Following the briefing, Amanda and I set out into the wilderness of Normandy Farms in search of our “Family Christmas Tree.”
Trucking through the farm on a snowy Saturday got us into the spirit of the holiday season as we inspected potential Christmas trees.
And then suddenly, towards the back of the farm, there it was.
It stood tall and full with a perfect shape. I immediately crawled underneath it and began feverishly cutting into it with the hand saw provided by Normandy Farms. I had only cut down one other Christmas tree in my life and must admit I forgot how much goes into it.
Winded and covered in sap, Amanda and I successfully brought the tree to the ground but were faced with the challenge of getting it back to our car. As previously stated, this tree was tall and full (and sharp with needles). It was too full for us to pick up together – one on each end of the tree – so I grabbed a hold of it by its base and proceeded to drag it to our car. The scene was surely comical (see photo above) as I would have made Chevy Chase proud with my unwavering Christmas spirit and ear-to-ear smile as I proudly brought this monster tree out of the farm.
I must state here that I did not once at this point think our tree was too big for our living room. I’ll touch on that shortly.
Amanda guided me through the battlefield of Christmas trees past so I would avoid tripping over any hidden stumps and we slowly … very slowly … made our way back to the car.
There were several things I enjoyed about my experience at Normandy Farms:
- Customer service was fantastic. From the very beginning, the folks selling Christmas trees here were pleasant, helpful and generous.
- Every tree costs $40. It didn’t matter how big or small the tree was, it was going to be $40 and considering the mammoth we pulled from the farm, I’d say we got our money’s worth.
- Securing the tree onto your vehicle. I was appreciative that Normandy Farms also offered to tie trees down to your car for you. I drive a Dodge Avenger and as you can see by the photo of the tree above, it took the help of a couple of professionals to securely tie the tree to the roof of my car. Thank you for that.
After we paid for our tree and tied it down to my car we were off, heading back to Chestnut Street at the steady speed of no more than about 20 mph. Yes, I graciously let cars pass by to avoid an unwanted parade through the center of town.
Upon arriving back home, the real fun began.
The first task was unloading the tree and getting it through the door to our place.
There was just one problem ... the tree was too big.
Much to our surprise, the tree had grown in size since we left Normandy Farms (a Christmas miracle).
We did our best to get the tree through the door, throwing some Milan Lucic-type body checks at it a couple of times to push it through. After we finally got it through the door we were faced with our next challenge … standing it up.
As it turns out the tree met one of our rules a little too well: It was a foot too big (tall) and a helluva a lot more full (wide) than what we saw at Normandy Farms.
But it sure was a great looking tree!
A quick call to Amanda’s parents in nearby Franklin produced the right tool for the job … a handsaw.
We took care of the length and width problems the best we could and after a whole lot of laughs and Chevy Chase jokes had our first Christmas tree lit and taking over our living room.
It was the perfect ending to an eventful and humorous day of searching for our Smith Family Christmas Tree, which I'm happy to report we found in our new town of Foxborough.