Embrace this timeless family holiday tradition at a tree farm near you
In an era where convenience rules and we can order anything from a gourmet meal to a holiday decoration with the tap of a screen, the tradition of cutting one’s own Christmas tree feels like a delightful detour from the norm. It’s an experience that offers an enchanting blend of nostalgia, family bonding, and the beauty of nature.
For many, the pilgrimage to a Christmas tree farm and cutting down a tree is more than just a festive ritual; it’s a cherished, time-honored tradition that symbolizes the very spirit of the season.
Today is the day. The traditional Saturday after Thanksgiving is when my family gathers to get our Christmas trees. The excitement is palpable as we bundle up, drive to the countryside, and trek through rows of evergreens, searching for the perfect tree.
The perfect tree. That idea has caused lively discussions, as we all know what that ideal tree looks like. Is it tall and conical? Or is it short and stout? And to this day, the whole family does not agree which style is “perfect.”
The journey itself, often accompanied by holiday tunes on the radio, is reminiscent of simpler times. Festive preparations were more than just a transaction but an act that involved time, effort, and love. Watching the landscape change, noticing the first signs of snow, and catching glimpses of evergreen forests build anticipation.
Upon arriving at the tree farm, the crisp, refreshing scent of pine, fir, and spruce welcomes us. This scent, pure and natural, surpasses any store-bought Christmas tree air freshener, evoking the essence of the forest, winter, and bygone holidays. Its fragrance instantly recalls memories of past Christmases, cherished loved ones, and childhood days of awe.
Our numbers have grown over the years as siblings have married and kids have come along. But the tradition has only grown just as the family has.
The kids wearing reindeer antlers or Santa stockings scamper through the trees, with squeals of joy and laughter echoing among the pines. Grownups reminisce about their childhood memories. Knowing all too soon that the years will fly by, those same children now laughing will share their memories.
Cutting the tree is a ritual in itself. There’s something profoundly satisfying in the act. It combines manual effort and the high point of the day’s search. All the kids want a chance to help cut the tree down. The sound of the saw, the feel of the bark, the gentle fall of the tree, and the triumphant cheer that often follows are all part of the day’s joy.
Yet, the magic extends beyond just the tree. It is so much more– sipping hot cocoa, warming hands by a makeshift campfire, sharing cookies or treats, and sometimes even the playful snowball fights – all add to the magic. And if that’s not enough, many tree farms also offer hayrides, wreath-making workshops, and carolers, enriching the experience.
Yet, the magic extends beyond just the tree. Amid this festive ambiance, sipping hot cocoa, warming hands by a makeshift campfire, and sharing home-brought treats become integral moments. And as if that’s not enough, many tree farms further elevate the experience with offerings like hayrides, wreath-making workshops, and the joyous melodies of carolers.
More than anything else, cutting your own Christmas tree is about togetherness. It is a tradition that is as old as the Christmas tree itself.
Tree farms are scattered across Ohio, from The Young Christmas Tree Farm in Yellow Springs, The Farms at Pine Tree Barn in Wooster, Howling Pines Christmas Tree Farm in Chagrin Falls, and many others. There is bound to be one by you.
To help you find one near you, visit The Ohio Christmas Tree Association’s website. Here, you will find lists of tree farms, advice on the different species, and how to care for your tree once you get it home. Pick Your Own has an interactive database and map of farms by location.
As the sun began its descent, casting the sky in hues of gold and crimson, the tree was securely tied to the roof of our car. The day was more than just the search for the perfect tree. It was a day brimming with laughter, shared memories, and the creation of new ones. The children, cheeks flushed from the cold, recounted their adventures, each claiming their tree was the most magnificent.
By the time we reached home, the stars had begun to twinkle in the winter sky. We unloaded the tree and set it up in the living room’s corner. As we began decorating, each ornament told a story, and each light string brought warmth.
The tree stood radiant, glowing with fairy lights, adorned with memories, and crowned with a vintage homemade star. We gathered around, cups of hot cocoa, and marveled at its beauty. Each of us silently relives the journey to bring this symbol of nature and tradition into our home.
That evening, my children nestled under the tree, looking up at its twinkling lights. Suddenly, a realization settled among my husband and me. Today wasn’t just about a tree. It was about preserving a legacy, intertwining the old with the new, and celebrating the season.
Whether your memories are closer to a Hallmark movie or a spin on The Griswolds in Christmas Vacation, they make the holidays special. Please share your favorite Christmas memories with us in the comments. We love to hear from our readers.