On a frosty November morning, with the aroma of turkey and stuffing still wafting in the air, my gratitude for all the important things in life lingers, as the anticipation of the coming month arises. The hustle and bustle of holiday business, the crisp air and falling snow, and all the details of Christmas dance in my head as I light my pine scented candle. The culmination of the year has arrived, and I can’t wait to begin embracing it!
This is how I feel every year at the close of November. There’s just something extra special about December. There are so many ways to look at it. It is the final chapter of the year at hand. It is the month when the world ushers in the most cheer and good tidings. The practice of compassion and giving is on the forefront, and the desire to dig a little deeper into the simple moments of timeless tradition seems to beckon.
I love the traditions that my family and I share. And one of those traditions is heading out into the woods as a family to cut down our Christmas tree. It’s a tradition we embrace every year. The location may change, the family or friends we enjoy it with may change, but the joy and excitement it brings never fails.
On our Christmas tree expeditions, we like to make a day of it. We pack the thermos of homemade hot cocoa, with plenty of snacks to go around. If we go somewhere that we can have a campfire to warm up by, we’ll plan for that, too. With our warmest boots and our coziest gloves we’ll all pile into the truck, dogs included!
I know there are a lot of theories on obtaining a fresh Christmas Tree. Some people like to spot a nicely trimmed and tied evergreen at a Christmas tree lot. Others like to pick from precut pines at a tree farm. Any way to enjoy fresh greenery is a good choice, but my family and I like to enjoy the hunt of it. Finding our tree is like searching for hidden treasure. It’s somewhat magical as we gaze up at all the beautiful evergreens stretching out and pointing to the heavens. In excitement, we tend to spread out as nature calls us in. You can understand why one might get lost in the woods, because getting off trail is part of the fun.
Once we’ve circled the area, we all share our favorites and take a vote. When we’ve landed on the “chosen one,” the true grit comes in, as we do things the old fashioned way. Now that our children have gotten older, the process of hand sawing the tree isn’t quite as arduous as it used to be. There are plenty of strong hands to get the job done! We even get the shopdogs Albert and Oakley in on the fun! Albert likes to play sled dog and help drag the tree back to the truck! These are the moments of laughter and family time that I like to seal into my memory, to draw from on those more hectic days.
Picking out a Christmas tree can be somewhat like picking out a new family sofa at the furniture store. What I mean by that is, they always look smaller than you think, until you try to cram it through the front door and into your living space. I always have an inkling that perhaps we’ve gone a little too monumental, but the “go big or go home” mentality runs in our blood, even when it comes to Christmas Trees. Luckily, our current home has a vaulted ceiling that puts up with our lofty evergreen conquests.
The great part of celebrating the holidays with a fresh evergreen, is the built in greenery we can glean from it for the rest of our home. What can’t fit through the front door turns into festive, aromatic trimmings to decorate with inside and outside of our home. There’s just something about the sight and smell of greenery that makes you feel cozy and makes your spirit bright.
We’ve never been into a color coordinating, perfectly decorated tree. We love the ornaments that hold special meaning, mixed in with the paper chains our kids still love to make. Our perfectly imperfect tree, fully lit with it’s fair share of lights, holds a special place in my heart, and I look forward to it every year. Just thinking about it makes me eager to embrace it once again.
We are excited to bring the spirit of Christmas into our Bailey Builds and Friends storefront once again, giving you a great opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit as well! We are so excited to kick off the Holiday season with lots of our artisan friends during our Small Business Saturday event on Saturday, November 27th. Bring the kids, and save room for homemade donuts and hot cocoa! Keep checking in on our Facebook Event Page for more information!