Growing up Mom, Dad and I would always get a fresh Christmas Tree…yes, we would kill a tree annually. But, I like to look at it as giving the chosen tree a second life. A future to always be remembered as the tree that brightened up Christmas when gazed upon. The tree that was decorated with love. A family’s Christmas Tree. What better honor? My husband and I hadn’t had a fresh tree before, and we felt that maybe this year was the year to start a new tradition. We were in a new town, new house, and it didn’t hurt that we didn’t have a working artificial tree either (The lights had burned out on our artificial tree a couple of years back, and we were borrowing Mom’s tree each Christmas since).
We began our search, and we came across a “Choose and Cut” Christmas Tree farm. This was a new experience for us and I was awful excited about getting a fresh tree. On their website, it read “you” can cut your own tree. Heavens, I didn’t want to cut my own tree. I wanted them to do it. So, I called them and was advised they would cut it for me with no worries at all. Let’s just say that was a relief to me. No telling how many fingers I or my husband would have cut off, and I need my fingers for cooking! We got there and asked a few questions as to what we were supposed to do. The extremely kind lady explained everything to us, all the way down to the free hot dogs she was getting ready to fix. After we received our orders, we began walking about the different lots of trees. There were four different lots of trees. All different kinds were there. Cedars, Pines, and Fraser Firs that were cut and brought down from the mountains since they don’t grow in our area. We found one, then another, then another, then our heads were hurting. We were seemingly spinning around in circles trying to find the one before, the one before, the one we were currently looking at to compare. This ended up being a daunting task nonetheless. I must say it was a good daunting though. Looking back, we were probably a funny sight to the couple that owned the farm.
We finally settled on four, yes four. We headed back to the barn to ask more questions about the types of trees that we had chosen. How much water do they take? When is the best time to get that certain type of tree? How long will it last? After answering all of our naive questions, the lady said it might be easier to make a decision on a full stomach and to head in the barn for hot dogs. I mean seriously…I am not going to pass up a good hot dog, much less a good free hot dog. We headed in and there were wreaths, bows, and holly branches for sale everywhere. On the three tables set up to the right, there was hot chocolate, apple cider, a variety of cookies, hot dogs, buns, and all of the hot dog fixings you could think of. Not only was this farm in the back of this couple’s home, they were pretty much opening their arms to us and feeding us when they didn’t have to. These were true country folk, and we were proud to be buying local from them. Shortly after finishing our hot dogs, we decided upon a Scotch Pine. A dense, true green, perfectly shaped Christmas Tree, and it was all ours!
Needless to say, this whole experience turned out to be an amazing time for me and the hub. We thoroughly enjoyed the walking around, touching and smelling the different varieties of trees that were there, and of course the warm food we were fed so graciously. It’s not all about the food at the holiday season. Yes, food comes in to play a lot (case and point above). But, it’s about the family. It’s about the memories made. It’s about the new traditions started, and it’s about sharing it with the ones you deeply love and care about.
In closing, try not to get all tied up in food preparation this season. Learn to enjoy the ones around you. Take time to sit while something is baking, and enjoy a nice glass of wine with your guests. Not only that, but cherish the memories you are making. This is your history. You want to be able to look back on it and smile from ear to ear while telling the stories of the first Christmas you…….(your turn to make history).
Wow, Jenn! You really out do yourself. I love reading your blog. The falling snow is a welcome little nuance that I have not seen on other websites. I love the pictures you take and the way that you describe things. I am not just saying this because you are my friend. Your words are inspiring and soothing at the same time. I read all the posts and thoroughly enjoy each one even though I have not commented on them all nor actually attempted any or your recipes [yet]. I’m also happy with the frequency of your writing. You could write once a month or everyday and I would be happy either way, but you seem to know just when to update the world. If you decide to write a book one day then I will be an early buyer.
Thank you, Zack! You are too kind, and I miss you terribly! :)
Sidenote: This did bring a tear to my eye…thank you.