December 1, 2021


Once upon a time it was simple to get a Christmas tree.  You walked out in the field and picked out a cedar tree of the right size, cut it down and brought it home to decorate with strings of colored lights, aluminum tinsel strands and maybe a little spun glass (angel hair). The smell of the cedar was wonderful.  

Over the years the tree selection process changed—and we needed to buy a tree.  Sometimes we got a tree at the grocery store, Home Depot, or a Boy Scout Christmas tree lot. Cedars weren’t available—varieties now included pines, spruces and the current darling, the Fraser fir. Even though many people transitioned to the artificial trees (which have become very realistic looking), our family has stayed with the “real Christmas trees.”

This photo shows Patrick choosing their tree at a lovely North Carolina Christmas tree farm. They were living in Swannanoa while he taught at Montreat College, Sam and Eli were about four and I saw an ad for a tree farm in Leicester.  It was a scenic drive there on the cold morning we took the boys to enjoy the experience.

There were many acres of lovely Fraser firs at various stages of growth.  The owners had a very efficient operation, with something for everyone.  We climbed into a wagon with horses for a drive through the farm and then returned to the area with this season’s trees.  They provided a saw for you to cut down the tree of your choice, then baled it for the drive home. The boys were wide-eyed with excitement as they ran from one tree to another—trying to decide on just the perfect one for them.

Then we stopped by the Christmas tree shop where they had wreaths, bows, tree stands, knit scarves, hats and gloves for sale.  And there was hot cocoa or cider to drink! Patrick and family returned to the Leicester farm several years for their tree choice.  What a great holiday experience that was!

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