Thanksgiving was over, which means we had the go-ahead to dive straight into the Christmas season with gusto!
Boxes of decorations were carried up from the basement and Patchwork Farm was transformed. The halls were beautifully “decked” by the close of the day on Friday. There was only one decoration missing…
It was tree-hunting time!
Our annual trip to the tree farm to search out the perfect tree, cut it down, and haul it home, is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I love bundling up in warm clothes, pulling on our muck boots and hiking through the rows of evergreens in search of the perfect tree.
For the last few years our annual hunt has occurred at Pioneer Trails Tree Farm, a tree farm 35 minutes away in Poland, Ohio.
We decided to go and get our Christmas tree on Saturday morning.
Our plan was to decorate it as our Family Night activity on Sunday evening, so Saturday’s only task was to pick the tree and get it home.
Pioneer Trails has a seamless system established that makes the process easy and fun for families.
Step 1: Pick the TYPE of evergreen that best fits your family’s needs. They had 7 different types of trees on display with signs describing the traits of each type of tree. We were able to see and touch the branches of each type of evergreen, determining the pros and cons of each type. It was helpful to see them standing side by side, allowing for the best comparison.
Once we had decided on what type of tree we wanted it was time for the next decision…
Step 2: Pick the SIZE of the tree you want. On a large sign posted near the tree display there was a map that indicated where on the farm to find the different types of evergreens. The map was color coded to show where to find the right sized tree for your home. We were looking for a tree that fell into the 10+ feet category so we knew we wanted to head to the orange areas of the map.
Step 3: It was time to grab a tree wagon and a saw and head out into the field.
There are different options available for families to get to the four corners of the farm where their dream trees are located. There are tractor driven wagons, horse driven carriages, or you can simply hike to the patch of trees where your tree is planted. This year we opted to catch a ride in one of the tractor driven wagons…
But we did stop at the horse-drawn carriage long enough to say “hello” to the beautiful horses that carry visitors around the tree farm.
Step 4: Find the PERFECT tree. This is where all the diplomacy of a United Nations General Assembly comes into play as my 3 boys, with their three distinct opinions, headed out in search of the perfect tree.
After 30 minutes of walking, looking, hemming and hawing, we had narrowed a dozen choices down to one. After a family vote we decided on this beauty:
Step 5: It was time to cut it down! Tyler asked if he could take on this important job. He got down on the ground and began to saw.
After a few minutes of sweat and labor, down it came…
Step 6: The next step was to load it up. Using our tree sled we worked together to move our tree to the pick-up spot where the wagons would carry us and our tree back to the barn.
Step 7: Once we reached the barn, the staff took over. They shook the loose needles from the tree and fed it through the binding machine to wrap it up for an easier transport home.
Step 8: The final step was to pay for our beautiful Christmas tree and get it home where it would be decked out in Christmas splendor on Sunday night.