Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Tradition {Finding The Perfect Tree}

I am a big fan of all holidays, but Christmas is definitely one of my favorites. With a season packed full of fun activities, yummy treats every where you go, glitter being an acceptable form of accessory on every available service (living and non-living), theme wear galore (sorry kids), and the opportunity to be unrestrained in multiple malls buying gifts for everyone, including the mailman, without my husband having too much of a panic attack (well at least until January), you would think it would be my absolute favorite. 

I reserve that spot for Forth of July. 

Call me crazy, but big giant glittery fireworks will win with me every time. 

Christmas is a close second. Yay, Christmas!

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is creating our own little family traditions. We are fortunate to live in a city that has a ton of spectacular holiday festivities that our family has grown to love. 

The one I think I look forward to most is picking out our Christmas tree. A few years ago with Carrie Beth's family we did our first ever "pick your own Christmas tree" adventure at a farm local to their lake house. For my husband and I this was pre-kids, but we LOVED it. Every year following, we have made it our tradition to wake up the day after Thanksgiving and head out to find our perfect tree. 

The last few years we have grown to love Hunter's Tree Farm. It isn't too far from us and they offer a ton of fun activities for kids. 

They have a ton of trees in all shapes and sizes that you can choose to chop down on your own, or you can visit their pre-cut section. We usually opt to cut down our own. Mainly it gives the hubs an excuse to use a saw, and apparently that is a fun time in itself.

Little Cute was just a newborn last year for our visit, but this year we had a hard time keeping up with her as she ran through the rows of trees. She thought these ones her size were hilarious.

After letting the kids check out the farm a bit we headed towards the trees the size we needed. 

The boys headed towards the 8 to 12 foot section.

I steered the female end of our crew to the 12+ section. I have two requirements for a tree - (1) BIG & (2) Bushy. 

We have a twenty foot ceiling in our living room. It screams for a HUGE tree.

This is usually the segment of our little tradition that begins the "friendly discussion", between the hubs and I, of why we don't need a 19 foot tree in our house. After usual negotiations, we land somewhere in the middle.

That didn't stop me from looking though. I turned the corner and saw this gorgeous guy. Don't think I wasn't trying to figure out how to replicate my very own Macy's tree lighting in my front yard. It more than met all the requirements and was PERFECT!

Sadly, we had to leave it and its beautiful green massiveness behind.

This year we decided to throw caution to the wind and let The Cutes pick the tree. They thought this was hilarious and had a hard time choosing. With some gentle guidance they finally chose the one that would come home with us this year. 

Cute being all boy was also fascinated with the use of the saw. 

Once the tree was cut the helpers were right behind us to help take the tree towards the shaking and packing area.

 They are also nice enough to help tie the tree on top of the car. Trust me when I say this is the most important step in the process. I might or might not know certain individuals who had to do this themselves one year and after multiple "escapes" and a bungy cord or two going through the actual car learned the hard way of why the tree needs to be tied down properly.

Once the tree was on our roof, we walked around the grounds of the farm some more since the weather was so pretty. Cute loved the antique tractor they had set up.

And both loved the hot chocolate and cookies they were offering. 

Cute did a mini craft and then peeked at Santa's special chair (Santa had left for his afternoon nap that day), and then we headed off to do a pony ride and feed the ducks at the pond on site. 

Sadly, we just missed the pony rides, but it is usually one of our favorite parts. They do a long ride and all proceeds go to a special charity. The workers are usually dressed as elves and the horses themselves are decked out in some of their Christmas finest too. The proceeds go to a fabulous charity, and it truly is a fun experience. We definitely will have to make sure we pay better attention to the schedule next year. 

After our exploring was completed we took our perfect tree home and later in the week I will share how The Cutes decorated it. :) 

If you are interested in visiting a tree farm to start a similar tradition with your family, I found a web directory of tree farms located in Georgia here

What are some holiday traditions that you celebrate with your family this time of year? 

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