o’ christmas tree.

o’ christmas tree.

When I was a little girl, there was one Christmas in particular that my dad took me out with him on a friend’s property and we were able to cut down a real Christmas tree. I’ll never forget it. I felt like we walked forever, but it paid off with a beautiful, fresh evergreen tree in the middle of Oklahoma somewhere not too far from our home. It was the only real tree that I remember us having, and I’m not sure that my mom enjoyed all of the needles in the carpet for days and days after Christmas was over.

To me, it was magic.

Since we moved to Colorado and learned about the tree cutting program through the Forest Service, we’ve been trekking through the woods to find the perfect one. We’ve learned over the past decade how to look all the way around the tree before cutting it down (we’ve had a few with no backs); Hank has learned to take it slow over the bumps when I’ve been pregnant (one year in my first trimester–I thought I’d toss my cookies, and one year in my last trimester–I thought I’d pee my pants); and the boys have learned how to use a saw safely.

It’s my favorite weekend of the holiday season.

We’ve built our own little tradition, which starts at Johnson’s Corner for coffee, eggs, and cinnamon rolls as large as your head.

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With full bellies and sufficient coffee, the real trek begins: up past Fort Collins, beyond the Boy Scout Camp and even the Shamabala Mountain Center and The Great Stupa, we turn in to the Red Feather Lakes tree cutting area. Each year, again per tradition, we head to the spot on the map that says, “Smokey the Bear.”

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I love him.

2013-12-20_0004 1214 tree-11 2013-12-20_0009Then the work begins: hunting.

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This year, the boys (mostly Holden), cut down the tree by themselves and Holden dragged it out.

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It’s our best tree, yet.

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Happy Christmas to you all, and here’s to you and your own traditions. :)

 

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