Each Christmas since we moved into this house, we’ve gotten a real live Christmas tree, though so far it’s always just been one of the pre-cut ones from Home Depot or Lowe’s. The results of this have been perfectly cromulent, as previous Christmas-tree related posts on this blog can demonstrate (see 2011′s tree here and 2012′s tree here).
But… the experience of picking up those trees from a big box store didn’t really feel all that special, and now that Lillian is getting a little older, we thought it would be fun to make an expedition to an actual Christmas tree farm to pick out our Christmas tree this year.
We found a small family-run Christmas tree farm in the west suburbs called Ziegler’s Christmas Tree Farm, and my brother and sister were even able to join us for the trip, which was a rare treat to have them both in the state and available. After stopping for lunch and generally dragging our heels, we were able to make it there with a whole hour before closing time to pick out our tree.
We didn’t attempt to bring the stroller, and two-year-old Lillian alternated between walking and asking to be carried, but she seemed to enjoy herself during this new and different experience — especially when she was asking daddy to carry her and run!
There were quite a few different species of trees to choose from, and it was neat to be able to see and compare them while fully alive and standing. I could probably fill an entire blog post with the different kinds of trees we looked at.
The only challenge at this particular tree farm was finding a tree of the right height. In the previous two years, we’ve had a tall-ish tree, maybe seven or so feet — but here it seemed like most of the trees were either too tall (10+ feet) or on the short side (barely 6 feet). We did manage to find one of just about the right size, though — here’s me and Lillian standing next to it for scale, keeping in mind that I’m 5′ 9″:
The species we ended up picking was a Concolor Fir (also known as a White Fir) — there’s a nice article here with more info on this flavor of Christmas tree. Pricing for the trees varied based on whether it was a pine, a spruce, or a fir, with the firs being most expensive, and at $69 this was the most we’ve spent on a Christmas tree so far. Though it’s some consolation knowing the money went to a small family business rather than a big corporation.
Interestingly, it turns out that cutting down a live Christmas tree isn’t all that difficult (which is probably no surprise to people who cut down their own Christmas trees every year, but this was a first for me). My brother Jason did the sawing, and it only took him about 43 seconds from start to finish — and then he and Joe were hauling it away to be baled and tied to the roof of the car.
So anyway, that’s the story of our first family Christmas tree farm trip! The tree is sitting in our living room now waiting to be decorated — and if last year is any indication, it may be another week or two before we finish that part, haha. Stay tuned for the sequel to this post, which will hopefully feature this year’s fully lit and decorated Christmas tree!