While most people set up an appropriately sized, artificial tree in their living room for the holidays, my family tradition is more in line with The Griswold’s from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Our family adventure begins with bundling up and driving to whichever tree farm has the best Douglas-firs of the season. If your clan is considering heading out to chop down your own tree this season, here are a few helpful hints:
- Make sure you dress for the weather. You can always take layers off, but you can’t add imaginary articles of clothing. Also, don’t wear your brand new Uggs because you’ll most likely be trekking through mud.
- Patience is a virtue. The whole procedure has never been a quick one for my family, as we wander the tree farm, marking the top contenders with twigs (because obviously that sets them apart from the rest) before settling on one.
- Be reasonable. There’s no need to compete with the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Whether you select one that makes Magic Johnson look petite or an 18″ Charlie Brown sized one that happens to be missing half of its needles, it will look lovely once it’s decked out in family heirloom ornaments.
- Don’t stray from tradition. After chopping down our tree, throwing it in the truck and wrestling it inside, it usually stays there until after New Years. If you normally put your artificial tree back in its box on December 26, you can still do the same with a real one—just toss it at the curb instead.
- Real trees are just better than fake ones. Does your pop-up tree from a box fill your home with a lovely, seasonal pine scent? Does it support the local economy and friendly farmers? I didn’t think so.
If you’d like to go all out with a Scotch Pine, there are several U-Cut tree farms in the area where you can either wield your own axe or pick from a slot of pre-cut trees, like Braun’s Trees, 796 Warren Rd., Ann Arbor, and Candy Cane Tree Farm, 4780 Seymour Lake Rd., Oxford.
Happy Tree Trimming!