The Dadlete Downs a Tree

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to extend my mythological, storied career as a Dadlete. Okay, okay. Maybe not so much mythological, but my fatherhood has been full of stories (hence the blog). But I digress. I received a Russell Premium Fleece sweatshirt (found exclusively at Walmart) in the mail and decided to find ways to put it to the test – holiday style.

I strung up lights, raked leaves, rewired the lights outside, raked leaves, got the Christmas decorations from the attic, raked leaves, did some yard work, raked leaves, and much much more. But one of the truest tests as a Dadlete came this past weekend.



You see each year my family jumps in the minivan and travels to a tree farm and selects a Christmas tree.

Now why is this a test to the Dadlete? For a number of reasons:

You have to survive the elements – which this past weekend included snow, mud, and a brisk 26 degree temperature.

You have to survive the children selecting a tree. Ever been down a toy aisle with children? It’s pretty much the same thing. Both kids want to select the tree, and you find yourself mediating a deal that rivals the complexity of a merger between two Fortune 500 companies. They disagree on the type of tree, then the height of the tree, then the breadth of the tree. There are so many options. Eventually, you broker a deal (which may or may not be coerced by the promise of hot chocolate).

But once the tree is selected, the real fun begins. The tree farm that we visit is one where you cut your own tree down. That’s right, just you, nature, a saw, and the opportunity to cause yourself bodily harm bring your family joy through the teeth of a finely sharpened saw.


And that is exactly where this Dadlete found himself, knee in what I hoped was mud, saw in hand, tree branch in my face, sawing blindly hoping that it was the trunk of the tree that the saw was munching and not my arm.

Though my hands were cold, the rest of me was not. The Russell hoodie kept me relatively warm from the elements. It was nice being able to have my full range of motion (the fleece hoodie was not only warm, but flexible).

Eventually, the saw bit, chewed, and ultimately released the tree from its roots. The next chore for this Dadlete was to carry the tree from the farm area to the checkout area. One in which I delighted. There is something to be said for sawing a tree down (without incident) and carrying it in the open air.


img_7067The children delighted in the victorious walk (only because it meant that the hot chocolate was not far away) and followed me to the table as I hoisted the tree to my shoulder and marched with joy, and Christmas spirit, to the family that owned the farm.

Little did I know that my work wasn’t done for the day. The tree required fixing to a stand, there were more leaves to be raked, the ornaments needed to be unpacked, there was a birthday party for the kids to attend, and there were still more leaves to be raked. All the while, the Russell Performance Fleece kept me company as I successfully completed my tasks and achieved Dadlete status.

Next up? Holiday shopping.


I received product for the purpose of review. However, my words, thoughts, and hoodie are my own. Do not try to take away my hoodie. 


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