Growing up, something my mother always made sure we had for Christmas was a real Christmas tree. She now she shakes her head at all of the work they took and wonders if it was worth it, but I can attest that a lot of good memories came from those trees.
Every year after Mom would get all the lights in place and all the bows tied on, we’d unpack the many boxes of ornaments. It was like seeing old friends again. From the precious handmade ones to the beautiful Hallmark ornaments (my favorites were the little houses and the rocking horses!), they all got strung up on the tree. I would spend a lot of time ‘inspecting’ the ornaments after that, whenever I just wanted to come hang out with The Tree.
Our tree set up also had this little music box that would hook up with the lights and play Christmas carols, making the bulbs dance along. Us kids spent a lot of time playing and being goofs around the tree, as well as taking in the quieter, more beautiful moments, when nothing was on but the soft music and the flow of the lights, cozy and warm and in perfect contrast to the snow and cold outside.
Because of all this, I was adamant that D and I put up a real Christmas tree this year, to get our own traditions started. What better way to ring in your Christmas tree tradition than to cut down your own? (Not to mention a spell cheaper…)
We found our way out to Priewe Tree Farm on Sunday afternoon. The owner of the farm met us at the entrance and instructed us that we could pick whatever tree we wanted, just meet him on the way out to settle up. He was also selling gallons of honey they harvested from their bees and homemade mittens his daughter made. Quaint.
The weather was perfect for this activity- low 40s, not too much snow on the ground (which causes me a little despair, but…there’s still time!) There were quite a bit of people out picking their trees.
There were a lot of trees on this farm, but you quickly learn that not all of the trees will make it as a Christmas tree. Don’t become smitten with a tree that is too close to it’s neighbor – it’s bound to have a bald spot on the neighborly side.
Double check the trunks. Some trees are absolutely perfect, but the tree split right at the ground when it was growing, so there’s no way you could qualify it as one tree if you cut it.
No, you should not cut that 10 ft tree in half where it stands just so it will fit in your living room.
Once you find the tree you want, don’t leave it to just have one more look around – that may be the last you see of it…
After MANY quibblings about which tree would be OUR tree, we found a nice little evergreen tucked away just off the road. Out came the chainsaw, down came The Tree, lickity split. Then off it went to hitch it’s ride on the car.
So now we have a resident Christmas tree of our own, all glowy and decorated. It may be a while before we get to the caliber of Mom’s trees, but it’s a good start anyway.
Just for fun, here’s a link if you want to learn a little more of the tradition of Christmas trees.