“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” After Thanksgiving, I am always eager to break out the Christmas decorations and get our home ready for the holidays. Although this has been our family tradition for some time, decorating is even better with a toddler. Watching her light up in pure joy as we pull out our stockings and ornaments is a moment that brings a smile to my face. The year our daughter was born was when we decided to start a new family tradition and get our Christmas tree from a local tree farm. Growing up we typically had a fake Christmas tree, but I remember a handful of times when we picked up a real one. That experience is one I will never forget and I wanted to pass that down to my daughter as well. And now, I’m passing along our Christmas tree farm tradition to all of you. We have compiled a list of tips for a successful trip cutting down your very own Christmas tree.
Know Before You Go
Before heading out to your local tree farm, do a little research. A piece of that research starts at home by measuring your ceiling and space for the tree. Next you’ll want to research when the tree farm is open for business. Some tree farms open their season right after Thanksgiving, while others open earlier or later. Check the hours of operation, prices, rules of the farm, tree selection, and special events, so there aren’t any surprises when you arrive. In a non-pandemic year, Santa sometimes even stops at local tree farms for a visit. This provides yet another opportunity for families to experience some holiday magic in a more personal setting. Once again, check the farm’s website or social media accounts to see if there are any special appearances on certain dates so you don’t miss them.
Dress for the Weather
Our first trip to the tree farm was a cold one. So instead of getting our pictures taken in our cute dressy Christmas outfits, we were pretty bundled up with winter coats, hats, and gloves. That first visit taught me a valuable lesson, always check the weather and don’t get too dressy for a visit to the tree farm. You can always make amazing memories and take great pictures in your winter gear.
Pack the Appropriate Items
Before you head out to the tree farm, you need to pack some essentials. Boots, a sturdy stroller or wagon for your little one, and straps to secure the tree are a must. Most tree farms have saws and haulers available for use. Some people opt to bring their own power tools and tarp to wrap their trees for a safe trip home. An alternative is to pick up a pre-cut or potted tree from the farm.
Pick a Christmas Tree that’s Perfect
Not all Christmas trees are created equal. There are several types of trees to choose from. It can get really overwhelming walking through rows and rows of trees that look similar. Some trees have a stronger scent that could bother those with allergies. Some have pokey needles which may not be the best for little fingers. This year we chose a Balsam Fir, which has softer needles, a vibrant scent, and are said to last a little longer. No matter what tree you choose, just remember to find the one that will fit your space, have full branches to hold your decorations, and one that has a nice straight trunk. We have learned from experience that a crooked trunk or unstable base will fall over and you will have a mess to clean in the morning.
Enjoy the Experience
Make the morning, afternoon, or day of your visit to the tree farm. Tree farms often have concession stands, activities, or a gift shop. Soak in the holiday cheer, support local and take some time to enjoy what the farm has to offer. Take a lot of pictures and create your own family traditions.
Looking for more holiday fun to be had? Head here for more ideas, places to shop, and things to do this holiday season.