A huge part of the whole Christmas ritual is the tree, and this year we got a big one!
It's easy to head for American Plant Food or a lot run by your favorite school, church or scout group. Or you could climg up into the attic to find the artificial tree you pull down each year. But no, not for me!
Most years, I head for an area tree farm to cut down a fresh tree.
So last Sunday, after doing a little checking on PickYourOwnChristmasTree.org, we headed out to St. Mary County to the Basford Creek Tree Farm in Chaptico, Maryland. OK, it was a hike - we drove a total of over a hundred miles to get there and back, but it was totally worth it.
It's a pretty place on a creek, complete with a petting zoo, honey from their hives and 80 some acres of Christmas trees. Owner, James Horstkamp, certainly passed the fun test and he provided important guidance in the selection process.
The trees don't look as tall as they really are on the lot when you're standing there, and the one we picked turned out to be a little tall for the ten foot ceiling in my living room. They trimmed down the trunk for us and shook out all of the dried needles, then it was into the car and back home.
It's now up and lit and decorated, and it's not the totally groomed and shaped like the ones on the lot. It's sort of like me - wild with a few cow licks, and not overly tidy or perfect. And for me, that is perfection!
Oh, and did I mention that the tree smells just heavenly?
If you've never done it, cutting down a fresh tree is something I'd recommend. When you are looking for a tree lot in your area, here are some of the things to look for:
What kind of trees do they have? Some have only one or two varieties. I like Basford Creek because they offer a lot of choices.
What do they cost? Basford Creek charges $45 for every tree no matter the size. The one we chose would have been three times that at a commercial lot.
Will they help you cut and load? There is no shame in letting them finish off the job with a chain saw! And we could never have gotten the tree in the car by ourselves.
I'll be back next year!
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