Each December the Lions Club takes over a little corner of a grocery store parking lot not far from our home. Staffed by friendly volunteers, they offer a nice selection of firs and balsams, and it is there that we usually find the perfect tree for us. Every year jolly men in parkas and boots assisted by pink-cheeked high school boys carry our find to the front of the lot, give it a nice fresh cut, bind it in plastic mesh, and tie it to the roof of our car.
This evening when we pulled up after a busy day of shopping and errands, we were greeted by a whole different staff, comprised mostly of teenaged girls in fuzzy pajamas, thermal shirts, down vests, and knit caps. Their leader was a woman of perhaps sixty with a bit of a harried air; she manned the electric saw as most of the girls chattered by the binder. As we waited to have our tree trunk trimmed, another customer called over to her. "I see you have a new crew here! Are they any good?" he asked with a wink.
She looked at the assembly maneuvering a Fraser fir toward the parking lot. "They're very," here she paused, "energetic," she finished diplomatically.
"We heard that!" The girls shouted back, and then they giggled as they hefted the tree onto the roof of the waiting car and neatly tied it in place.