December 20, 2013

Favorite Traditions: The Christmas Tree Expedition

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. Of course when I was a kid I loved the presents, but these days our Christmases are much less about consumption and gift giving. The things I enjoy most now are the traditions and the time spent with family and friends. During the Christmas season I spend a lot of time cooking, baking, playing games and just visiting with the people that I love the most. It is lovely!

Ever since I was kid one of my favorite traditions was the expedition into the forest to find a Christmas tree. We would literally spend hours hiking around the forest looking for the perfect tree. (Of course a perfect wild tree is completely different from manicured farm trees. They have character and you are usually happy if you find one that is mostly symmetrical). Even when I was in college my parents would wait until I came home to go find the Christmas tree.

Last year was the first year that we didn't go home to South Dakota for Christmas, but my parents stopped for a quick visit after picking up my sister from school. We picked out our tree out from a cute little neighborhood tree farm a couple blocks from our house. It wasn't the same, but at least I sort of still had my family Christmas tree expedition.

This year we will again be staying in Portland for Christmas, but this year my family is coming to visit for an entire week! However they won't arrive until right before Christmas and Nathan and I were determined to get our wild Christmas tree this year, so we decided to head out into the forest on our own last weekend.

This was our first year hunting for Christmas trees in Oregon, and ironically it might be more difficult to find a Christmas tree in Oregon than it is in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In Oregon, it seems like you have fewer areas where you are allowed to cut Christmas Trees and they are completely covered in snow before Thanksgiving. We were determined to find a tree, but we didn't want to be one of those families that gets stuck for days in a snow drift, so we decided that hiking in was the way to go. I think that this Christmas tree expedition was our most ambitious to date, but I believe that it might have also been our most beautiful and epic as well… but I will let you judge by the pictures.

I estimate that we ended up walking a total of 6 miles that day, but with views like this it is hard to complain. We started out the day with grey skys, but by lunch time we had beautiful blue skies.

Before long we found the tree just off an old access road. Just the right height and very pretty!

Once we had shaken off all the snow to make sure that it was just as pretty without it's white blanket, Nathan got down to business to cut 'er down.

And then began the 3-mile walk back to the car. Isn't Nathan a great sport dragging it the entire way! (I did offer to take a turn...)

But then I might have missed shots like this...

But once we were back to the car, I was in charge of tying it down before we took her home.

Then when we got home, we put the tree up right away. However, it then took us over a week before we decorated it (and we don't even have that many ornaments). As much as I love the Christmas tree expedition, I am not a big fan of decorating it. But now that it is up and decorated, there isn't much as comforting as having a glowing Christmas tree in your living room giving off its refreshing pine smell. Merry Christmas everyone!

(This post was also shared at The Down Home Hop, the Maple Hill Hop, the Home Acre Hop, and the Simple Lives Thursday Hop). 


  1. Wow! What great memories you are making. Gorgeous country you're in. Thanks for joining the Maple Hill Hop this week. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Thank you! Thanks for the opportunity to join your blog hop. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday as well.

  3. What a great tradition. Your photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your adventure at the HomeAcre Hop. I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.

  4. Thank you! I will definitely be back this week. Happy New Year!


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