If you are headed to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm for a real Christmas tree, from a real Christmas Tree Farm, here is what you can expect!
My husband and I celebrated eight years of marriage at the end of November 2016. Over those eight years we created memories, children, and traditions.
Because of his attitude toward Christmas and the joy it brings myself and my growing family, it has quickly become my favorite holiday as well, even more than Thanksgiving, my old favorite holiday.
But, for eight years my husband wanted to embrace a holiday tradition that for one reason or another (mostly financial ones, with limited space being a close contender), we never did it, until this year.
Thanks to the Christmas Tree Promotion Board sponsoring this post, this year, 2016, we finally have a real Christmas tree.
Not only is it a real Christmas tree, but it is also a fresh, straight from a tree farm, cut down ourselves, tree.
Real Christmas Tree Tradition
My family didn’t have a lot of Christmas traditions growing up, but picking and buying a real Christmas tree, every year, is one we had. Even though some years we didn’t buy one until a day or two before Christmas, we always had a real Christmas tree, decorated and lit, come Christmas morning, complete with presents underneath.
We didn’t ever go to a tree farm to pick and cut our own, though. Most of our trees came from the parking lots of grocery stores or closed drive-in restaurants in town. Over my childhood we had all sorts of different sized and needled Christmas trees. It was fun to see what type of tree we’d end up with and if my mother would like it or not.
I loved pulling out all the ornaments, lights, and tree decorations every year. I valued the ornaments I made in my younger grade school years as well as all my siblings’ and my baby ornaments! We most definitely never had a “Pinterest worthy” tree but none of cared about that at all.
Our Christmas tree lights were those old large screw-in light bulbs. We spent time replacing bulbs every year on the strings and plugging them in to make sure they all worked right before putting them on the tree.
In our family, we most often wrapped presents as soon as we bought them and put them under the tree once we were done. Diving under the tree to count and organize gifts by person, shake boxes and make guesses as to what was inside, began well before Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, and I loved every second of it. While we were down there, we also made sure to water our tree.
My husband grew up not only with a real Christmas tree every year, but a real living Christmas tree every year! His parents bought a live Christmas tree and after Christmas planted it in their backyard and they still do this! Honestly, I didn’t even know people did this until I married my husband and we talked about our Christmas traditions growing up.
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm
Last year we came close to buying our first real tree, in that we went to a tree farm for the first time.
Our friends invited us to join them as they went to a Christmas Tree Farm. It was my first time, ever, to a Christmas tree farm, and they had lots of extra fun things to do there – a crazy maze, a hay maze, tractor rides (to the trees), a playground, a shop, food, drinks, and more. Unfortunately it rained, hard, and we were unprepared so I spent most of our trip inside our vehicle with our five month old baby and two year old son, huddling up to stay warm.
We returned to the same tree farm again this year, though, unfortunately without our friends, and again, in the rain! Thankfully it wasn’t as much rain, more like a light, but constant drizzle, but we, again, were not properly prepared for the weather (that 15% chance of rain was a lie, by the way). It just meant we didn’t stay to play much after we picked out our tree.
Picking out a tree as a family went perfectly. With the baby secured in the baby carrier on my chest, we enjoyed the tractor hayride, out to the trees. Going up and down rows, guessing if it was too big or too wide or too small for our apartment was a fun game. My husband, with help from each of the three older kids, sawed it down.
My baby got down and played with little twigs, and we hauled it back to the tractor pickup line. They shook the trees in these fun little machines and then netted them up. After we paid, we attached it to the top of our vehicle and headed home.
Why a Real Tree is Better
Christmas is all about real quality time spent with family and friends.
Our long drive to a tree farm, getting stuck in the rain twice there, bringing home a scary furry red spider with us in the tree (or did I forget to mention that?), picking a tree, going on tractor hay rides, and the scent and beauty of a real tree we are greeted with every single day inside our home creates forever memories.
The Christmas Tree Promotion Board is a national research and promotion program that shares the benefits of fresh Christmas trees, encouraging families across North America to “Keep It Real” when it comes to their Christmas tree selection.
They are dedicated to educating people about that fact that a real Christmas tree is also better for the environment, as it can be recycled, and are carbon neutral, meaning Christmas trees absorb as much carbon dioxide during growth as they emit when disposed of! Plus, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board states that 1-3 trees a planted for every tree cut.
Now if only I could figure out a way to keep the toddler from taking off ornaments off the tree… She may have already broken one (that an older sibling moved to an unsafe height). It’s all about the memories, right? The Pinterest-perfect Christmas tree will come later… maybe.
Do you get real Christmas trees? Why or why not?