The traditions we have with family and friends each Christmas season are a big part of what makes this time of year so special. One of my personal favorite traditions is cutting down a Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.
I adore everything about the experience – the smells, the sounds, all the little details. Walking through the tree farm on a chilly, breezy day with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Comparing tree after tree to find the one with the perfect shape, just the right height, not too thick but not too sparse. Lying down in the pine needles and mud to saw through the trunk (always more of a workout than anticipated), and dragging the tree to the nearest trailer, leaving sap and dirt stuck on gloves and mittens.
The drive home, with a tree tied to the car roof with twine and an old ratty blanket feels triumphant. The reward – a glorious month filled with Christmas ornaments, lights, and the fresh pine tree smell.
Sure, getting a real tree each year is a lot more work than simply unpacking a fake tree you can box up in your basement. Nobody enjoys cleaning up countless dried pine needles, and getting rid of the tree post-holiday is a major pain. But I would never trade the experience of cutting down a tree for the sake of convenience or time. It’s a tradition that I cherish and hope to continue for years to come. Besides, I only get to feel like a rustic lumberjack once a year.