Picking the perfect Christmas tree is a ritual that should not be rushed.
I can say that even though we were in and out of the bush where we found our tree within an hour. That included the sleigh ride there and back, and the hot chocolate at Sanata's shack afterward.
But then, we've got it down to a fine art.
The trick is deciding ahead of time what kind of tree is required. Which basically means Pine or Spruce. Spruce is perfect with it's sturdy branches for hanging ornaments, but I am a sucker for the long soft needles of the Pine tree. Also, I find that Pines look more rounded, and I love fat trees.
The second trick is in knowing whether you want tall and slender (read elegant) or full and bushy. This may be determined by the size of room you have.
And finally, knowing the height you require is essential. Andrew is 6'3" and we have 8' ceilings in the farmhouse, so we look for a tree that is no taller than the top of his fingers when he holds his arm up over his head. (This is easier that taking a tape measure out, though that works too). You'd think this was a no-brainer, but plenty of people get their tree home only to find it is much bigger than they thought and have to start lopping bits off the end to make them fit (right, Dad?). This is because trees tend to look a lot smaller out of doors.
Once you know the size and shape and kind of tree you want, you just need to look around and make sure the one you pick doesn't have any gaping holes anywhere. Trial and error has shown that you can spend hours in the snow debating between trees, and all that happens is you end up with the one you were debating when you finally realised your toes were cold.
So we skip all that angst now, and take the first or second that we look at that meets the criteria. Fit in a rousing snowball fight and the obligatory pictures, and then we take it home, and spend our time and energy debating more important things.
Like angel or star. Coloured lights of white. That sort of thing.