I love the smell of a real tree. The buttery pine just fills the house with the scent of the season. My husband grew up with a real Christmas Tree his whole life. My family however only had a real tree once and it was a very unforgettable Christmas.
The year we brought home a real tree I was about 14 years old. It was very exciting to finally have talked our parents into getting a real Christmas Tree! We trimmed, we decorated, we admired and filled presents under our fir. I think it must have been a week when we were greeted by our first fury guest. The first of a family of mice that was seen creeping in the kitchen. I remember one scurried past us while we were in the bathroom and my little sisters and I screamed so loud. In less than a second my sister was on top of the sink, my other sister was in top of the toilet and I was on the side of the tub screaming for our dad! We found another crawling across my grandmother’s (Lola) bed. One night we were watching the movie Ghost when during the spookiest parts a mouse trap went off and we all screamed and ended up flying off the couch and on top of my mom sitting in the recliner. My dad caught eight mice total. An entire family of mice , two big mice and six baby mice. We realized the only way they could have gotten in the house was by way of tree. There must have been a nest hidden in the branches. I am so glad they shake the crap out of those trees before we take them home. Side note: peanut butter is a much better bait than cheese.
We planned an entire day to get our tree and take family photos in a greenhouse later in the afternoon. We cooked three Dutch baby pancakes. (Recipe here) and bacon. After we ate we read the gospel and discussed why it was important to build our house in the rock and not sand. We translated that to making sure we understand the reason for the season and do not get caught up in the business and rush that this month usually brings. We decided to get the tree farm early as we could, on the way we listened to Charles Dickens novel to his children “The Life of our Lord.” We listen to this audiobook every year. It was pretty chilly but sunny and perfect weather for tree hunting. The tree farm has two types of trees to cut down, pine and cypress. Since we have pine trees all around us we decided that cypress would be the tree for us. I had read on the website that the tree farm ships in trees from up north, Frazier firs and black hill spruce. Both smell amazing, they are precut but put on display among the planted trees. I wanted a Frazier fir so bad because the smell reminded me of my godparents home during Christmas. They also cost $20 more and a hard sell to my frugal husband.
We finally agreed on a cypress tree by flipping our remote, the big girls each chose a different tree of course. Mia won the toss and Madelyn cried. We weren’t far away from the checkout but the farm drives the tractor and trailer down to pick up you and your tree and being you back to the entrance. The hayride is part of the fun and the driver took us on an extra long ride since we were one of two families in the park.
We had to make a quick trip home, Ryan had work and we needed to get lunch and get ready for family pictures. He left us to put the tree up which ended up being crooked. Ryan had to meet us there since his meeting had a few snags. It all worked out and Ryan made it to the greenhouse. I am so excited for those pictures, I can hardly wait.
We got home that evening after pictures, cooked dinner and trim the tree…. in a perfect world. Ryan made a trip to Walmart while I cooked spaghetti to get a new stand because of 15 year old stand that was used for our fake tree was not adequate for our real 7 foot tall Cypress tree. The girls were so excited to start decorating but we insisted that we do our daily advent activity. We put Norah to bed early, she was exhausted. When we finally cleaned up the kitchen and finished our Advent readings we got ready to trim the tree only or find out that we did not have any lights. We tore the house up looking for the brand new LED lights we bought last year on clearance. They were nowhere to be found and we concluded that we must have thrown them away with our old fake tree. The girls were disappointed to not be able to put their special ornaments on the tree but at least Norah would be able to set the Angel on top for the first time.
The girls went to bed very disappointed they couldn’t decorate because they were anticipating the arrival of their elf, Apple Jack who only makes appearances when the tree is decorated. I made a trip to Walmart to grab nearly two feet of warm white LED Christmas lights at 9:30pm. They will be so excited when they wake up and this momma is proud that I was able to get in and out with only Christmas lights. I love being able to give my kiddos this fun experience. Not everything went as planned, Ryan was late to family pictures, we didn’t decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music but it was a wonderful day, imperfect and beautiful.
Love and Blessings,
Location: Old Time Christmas Tree Farm