Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas in the Northwest

Getting a Christmas tree is one of our fun family traditions. I remember when I was a kid living in southern California and our family went to a tree lot to pick out our tree. The lot smelled so good - all that pine! It was a treasure hunt to find the perfect tree - full and symmetrical. You had to run your hand down the branch to see if all the pine needles would come off. If they did, the tree was too dry - and you had to keep looking! Of course, all the trees were pre-cut and had wooden Xs on the bottom for a stand. It's so different in the Northwest. There are a few tree stands where the trees are pre-cut, but more popular are Christmas tree farms. These are fun and festive. That's how we got our trees for years. You can go out on the farm which usually has different sections for the different types - Nobles, Douglas, etc. The farm provides a hand saw for you. You fell your tree and drag it over to your car. Then you usually enjoy a complimentary hot drink of coffee or cocoa and maybe a tractor pulled trolley all dressed up Christmasy. Now, we just go out our front door and choose a tree. That's how it goes when you live in the forest. (Really, our property is designated forest by the state of Washington) You might think it would be so easy to find a tree in the forest. Well, I suppose it is IF you have a ceiling that accommodates 80' trees! Even when you think you've chosen a small one - because it looks small compared to all the others around it. This year the older children went with Dad to find and cut a tree. I usually stay home with the little ones. (they nap while I clear a space) The best part is hearing all of them laughing and yelling as the return with the perfect tree. (By the way - it's usually a tree that has been topped - and is still monstrous in size!)














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