Since this is baby girls first Christmas – my FAVORITE holiday! – Jonathan and I made sure picking out the Christmas tree was extra special! And what’s more special than going all Paul Bunyan on a sapling in the middle of a man-made forest?
I’ve been trying to compile a list of Christmas family traditions that we can implement now, while baby girl is young. Jonathan and I are both suckers for tradition around the holidays, and getting a live Christmas tree is definitely one of the “must do” holiday experiences we want Tessa to grow up with.
Now, I grew up in the Central Valley of California, and “Christmas tree farms” consist of roped up bushes masquerading as trees being sold out of the back of a truck in a Walmart parking lot, generally. So I was tickled pink to find that there is an actual, bona fide, real-tree Christmas tree forest not too far from where we live here in Pensacola! This was my first time cutting down my own Christmas tree!! And by my cutting it down, I mean pointing to a tree and making my husband do it. ^_^
Here are some of the photos from our family outing to the Christmas Tree Forest in Pensacola, Florida!
The man made forest consisted of Sand Pines, Cedars, Leyland Cypress, and Green Giant Christmas trees and it was actually snuggled in the middle of a REAL humid, vine-thick Florida forest. The trees available for cutting ranged from 3 to 12 feet. I was actually impressed by the selection. The family advertised on their website that they had thousands of trees to choose from.. and they weren’t joking!
The Christian closed-on-Sundays-because-its-the-Lords-day family was SO SWEET, and they thought Tessa was a cutie. (They thought right.)
They gave us a cute little hand saw and some leather gloves and set us loose on the trees.
While Tessa is too young to actually pick out a tree (duh), she was bright eyed, giggly and excited to be strolling in the outdoors, and she was staring intently at each tree we considered as we meandered through the rows of pine.
Jonathan and I, who were initially kind of nonchalant, easy-peasy about the whole tree picking experience, found ourselves becoming increasingly discerning in our tree picking tastes. It had to be the right height. Not too fat. And not too tapered or full at the bottom. And it needs a good point. Why were all these trees so… so… so TREE-like?!
Finally, WE FOUND IT!! We were driving around the corner, and there it was. Not in the row of trees. Kind of off, hugging the fence line, not really in the pickable tree area. (If we cut down part of your natural fence, nice tree farm owning family, I’m sorry.) But it was PERFECT! We also liked that it is a Red Cedar, which is a Florida native tree. We’re suckers for trying local cuisines, customs, and cultural flair, so our first Christmas in Florida, it seemed fun and fitting to pick out a Florida Christmas tree.
The only thing that sucks is, it’s super aromatic and OH MY GOD do the needles prick and sting like a mother. I’m literally cringing and rubbing my owies as I type this. Evil, devil, pricky tree. That’s soooo pretty!
But my favorite part of picking my own tree? Watching Jonathan feed it through the netting! Who invented that piece of genius?!! I got way more excited over that contraption than I should have.
Also, watching Jonathan strap the tree to the car, while I changed babies stinky diaper on the passenger seat made me go.. wow. We’re all growed up. When did this happen? I’m a mommy. Jonathan is a tying a tree to the top of the car daddy. Even though it was 73 degrees out and humid, it was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. And I’m seeing it all through new, fresh eyes.
So Christmas is in full swing around the Freeman Family. (We really need a farm, because I keep wanting to type “The Freeman Farm”.) I’m working on an actual, physical list of Christmas traditions I want to adopt for our family. You guys know me and my relentless obsession with lists. I’ll be posting it on here soon(ish).
So help me out. What Christmas traditions do YOU do as a family?