There’s something about coming through your door with a fresh cut Christmas tree that fills the air with a crisp pine scent that greets every room in your house. There’s a magical feel that helps bring holiday cheer to life after it’s adorn with lights and holds your favorite ornaments.
A fresh Christmas tree has always been something Eric and I enjoyed ever since our first Christmas in our own home. I grew up in a house with a fake tree, which I loved, but always thought having a real one just had that Christmas feel written all over it.
I mentioned this awhile back, like circa 2016 (old-time blogger here 😉 that Eric and I had this huge blue spruce that blocked the front of our house. It was over grown and needed some major attention. We knew we wanted to get rid of it but felt bad just chopping it down without a purpose. We decided to wait and cut it down for our first tree and used the first 9 feet of it. I have to wonder if that was some sort of foreshadowing for what was to come.
Fast forward to now and having some trees on our property (see the foreshadowing?) that are great options for Christmas. You might remember we planted a bunch more in the spring to add to the already mature ones that have been growing for years. So many people have asked us if we would be opening this up to the public, but the reality is, we just don’t have enough.
What we wanted to do was make this extra special for our family and friends to have an experience and create memories together. After all, this time of year is prime for those memory making moments, right? The day after Thanksgiving some of our friends came over and we started a tradition that hopefully we can keep up for years to come. We basically spent the whole day outside, Christmas card pictures were taken (I’ll share that soon), and captured moments all throughout our fun.
I thought it would be cute to have a little hot chocolate bar setup on the porch, and the boys wanted to leave a tip jar out to try and make some money. I couldn’t shoot down their entrepreneurial spirit, so I thought, why not. Our friends are cool, and would probably think it was cute.
This was my first time making crockpot hot chocolate and I think it came out really good. Let’s just say there was none left at the end of the day. Although, I’m pretty sure my guys had more than one cup. Sneaky, sneaky. What I love is, the money they did get they told Eric and I they wanted to give it to buy more trees for us to plant and also wanted to donate it to their speed the light outreach at church that is raising money for families in Chile. My heart could not have been happier in that moment. It’s those little things that are huge for parents that remind us maybe we’re doing something right.
We thought it would be fun to add to the experience and have our friends tag the trees they wanted. We also wanted to make it really official with tree nets for when they drove home. Eric went searching for a tree baler, and I mean, we love our friends and all, but man those things are expensive brand new. The deal finding guy that I have happened to snag one for an amazing price the day it was listed. It came from a former local tree stand that decided not to sell trees this year. Now tell me that wasn’t meant to be. The guy told Eric a story about how it was 42 years old and they used it every year. We love that it has a story to come along with it and a bit of vintage charm.
Once we all tagged our trees the fun continued when we took out the saws to let everyone cut them down. Of course with the utmost precaution. It wouldn’t be an adventure without someone taking a while to cut one down, breaking out the two man saw to use (which I forgot to take a picture of, #liveinthemoment), someone bending a bow saw, a tree that got stuck in the baler, one not fitting on top of the car, and a partridge in a pear tree.
The best part was also creating memories with our little guys and sharing their excitement for it all. It was so cute to hear them countdown as Eric was sawing and then heart them yell, timber, once he made it through the stump. Let me just tell you though, those trees look a lot smaller out in their natural habitat. Ours pretty much takes up half the living room and is perfectly imperfect in every way. I can’t complain that the convenience of just walking it into the house wasn’t nice, though. We also decided to have a really tall one in our entryway that’s 15 feet, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that, because it’s only halfway decorated (I’m so behind this year #lifehappens). I’m hoping to share a peek of the trees in my stories this week.
Starting and continuing traditions around this time of year are some of my favorite things to do, and this one is pretty high on the list. It’s so special to know that our friends and family are able to enjoy our trees in their homes and share their Christmas moments gathered around it. Because at the end of the day, it’s not all about the perfect tree, but who’s around it <3