Today I’m kicking off a short blog series on holiday traditions. When my husband and I first got married, the holidays were a time to reminisce about our traditions growing up and think about which ones to carry on as a married couple. Now having two little ones, and now that we live in the mountains, we want to make a few new memories with them. This blog series will focus on a few of our new traditions that we are STARTING with our little family of four. These are all brand new for us! I am so excited to try these out. I will let you guys know how each one goes, and if I recommend it. Today, we are on the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree! This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite products that I use and love.
MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS TREE
First up, hunting and chopping down our own Christmas tree. If this is already a tradition for you, then LUCKY YOU! We had so much fun driving out to the National Forest, and cutting down a real mountain Christmas tree.
WHY THIS TRADITION?
We have two toddler boys who are just now beginning to comprehend the joy and excitement that comes with the holidays. Finding and decorating the perfect Christmas tree has always been a holiday staple in my family and my husband’s family.
When I was little, my mom loved the “Charlie Brown” trees that were left behind or hiding in the back corner. My husband and his family went to a Christmas tree farm each year to cut down their own tree. Either way, the tradition of the Christmas tree is one we wanted to carry on with our children.
WHAT WE DID TO START OUR TRADITION
Step 1: Purchase a permit.
In Colorado, you need to purchase a tree cutting permit. This was simple and inexpensive. I googled where to purchase from the forestry and parks department. It was just $10.00. Which okay, that’s a win in itself as store-bought trees are generally anywhere from $35 on up!
Step 2: Pack some tools.
My husband – because let’s be honest, I’m better at spotting the perfect tree not actually chopping it – took the hand saw [no chainsaws allowed], a tarp, some tie downs and a rope. (Glad we have these manly tools at home.:))
Step 3: Hunt down a good one.
We set out on a Saturday morning, purchased the permit, took a few photos with Smokey Bear, and drove into the National Forest!
Then, it’s like the biggest Christmas tree lot you could ever imagine! Obviously, the mountains are full of trees, but it’s actually a bit of a challenge to find a good one that is a reasonable size.
Also, don’t make the mistake (like I did) of thinking that they will all be perfectly full and symmetrical. That is not nature. Instead it will probably be a little misshapen and quite possibly lopsided. No one will notice. Well people might notice. But isn’t it worth it that it’s a real tree? And there is always the nice story of how you went out, searched for it, chopped it down, and brought it back to live in your home!
*I will note that we made a point of measuring the height of our ceiling before we left the house, so we knew what size tree to get.* I think we saw a few individuals with trees SO BIG they might regret that when they get home and try to get it through the front door.
Step 4: Get it home, trimmed, and in some water pretty quick.
Once you chop down that special tree, it’s important to try to get it home quickly, trimmed immediately, and into a stand with some water. This will ensure that your tree will live longer and look and smell fresher.
WILL WE CONTINUE THIS TRADITION?
YES! Of course we will. This was such a fun tradition to start with our kids. Here are 3 reasons why I would recommend this fun experience to all of you.
#1- It’s an adventure! You’ll be making memories with your children.
#2- Your tree will be fresh and hopefully last longer!
#3- The money you spend will go to a good cause. Ours went to supporting the forest and park rangers. Yours may go to other organizations, but generally it’s for a good cause.
We love this fun, new Christmas tradition. I hope you will too!!
Happy adventuring friends,