We replaced our tradition of buying trees for $15 from the IKEA parking lot with driving to a local Christmas tree farm and cutting down our own tree. The decision was one part sentimentality, and one part economical prudence, we had no idea that Christmas trees outside of the city were so expensive! We were looking at $50-60 for a tree. If we drove a little bit down the road and it would cost half that at the Christmas tree farm. Matt told us that we would all hate cutting down the tree as much as he did when he was a kid. I told him that it may be true, but that we should give our kids the luxury of knowing what they are supposed to hate.
As luck had it, we went was the coldest day of the whole year. So after a few minutes, I was just begging Matt to cut down the closest tree so we could save our children's button noses from frostbite...
...but the man who wanted to teach us to hate this proposed Christmas tradition insisted that we needed just the right tree. Finally he settled on this one.
Immediately afterwards, I saw 3 more that were much fuller and closer to where the van was parked. ;-)
It was a lovely tree, and when we took it down after the Epiphany, the needles were still fresh and healthy. My one complaint was that it didn't smell very much, which is sort of the whole point of having a fresh tree in the house. When asked if they wanted to just buy a tree from a grocery store parking lot next year, they all sang out, "No way, we want to go back to the farm again!" Next year, if we don't cut one down from the front lawn, we'll just ask the farmer to point us in the direction of a stinkier tree.