Since I was a little kid, my parents, sister and I would go to a tree farm in my hometown of Rochester, MN and cut down our family's Christmas tree. Over the years, we've experienced a lot: tree trunks that can't fit in the stand, tree falling over post-decoration, heated family discussions over which tree should be selected (you'll take heated anything), etc.

Some years take longer than others (funny, the years it's really cold are always the quickest), but eventually we'll settle on a tree. Now comes the fun part.

About five year ago, yours truly relieved my Dad of his tree-cutting duties and promised to represent the Robb family's tradition of strong bow sawsmanship....or, something like that. I digress.

My technique was hardly flawless the first few years as I opted for the "Crappie Flop" technique; imagine a fish after you drop it in the boat and you're getting ready to take the hook imitate that by gyrating your hips while holding a saw to a tree trunk.

While incredibly amusing to those who can witness this pathetic technique, it's highly ineffective.

Fast-forward three years, and I felt confident I would execute a near-perfect extraction as my technique had improved each of the past two years.

This year, we broke a record and found the tree in 3-5 minutes! My brother-in-law, Adam, gets the credit for spotting a nice tree right near the barn we haul it into.

I assume my position under the tree and begin to saw. I'm sawing as fast and hard as I can and, 45 seconds in, the tree is on the ground!

I can't believe it! It used to take me 5 minutes at least! I was feeling REALLY good about myself...until we got the tree home into the tree stand and we realized it's the smallest trunk we've ever brought home.

While it was a momentary shot to my self-esteem, my work was done! I watched football while everyone else set up decorations.

Xmas Tree
My family after the tree (not pictured) was cut down

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