The Christmas season officially begins for us when we go to the tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree and bring it home. Although my husband typically prefers to experience new places, I love the tradition of going to the same places and doing the same things. So, the day after Thanksgiving, we head out to our favorite local tree farm, Coates Tree Farm. My kids pull the wagon around until we find the absolute perfect tree. Once found, we take a family photo with the tree before my husband saws it down. While my husband is paying for the tree, my kids and I grab a free cup of cocoa and stop by to visit Santa (the same Santa year after year). It is free to snap a photo with him and there is never a line, it's heaven.
Even though they are more messy than a fake tree, I love the tradition of going to the farm for a fresh tree and I love being able to support a local business. The smell is a huge bonus too!
Once we get the tree home, I put on some Christmas music (usually Pentatonix but this year, I'm all about the new Backstreet Boys Christmas album!) and make hot cocoa while my husband gets the tree set up and the lights on. Next, my kids and I each find the boxes that hold our own personal ornaments and we decorate! It's so fun to see our ornaments each year and talk about when we got them and the memory each represents.
To me, the perfect tree is the one that we decorate together with all the memories of Christmas past. I don't strive for a visual perfection with every ornament coordinating and in it's perfect, evenly distributed place. Not feeling the pressure of my tree to look like something from Sax 5th Ave reduces my stress and allows me to enjoy the moment with my family. It also allows my kids to participate and gives them an unforgettable memory.