When it comes to getting a Christmas tree, right now your options are: 1) cut your own tree 2) get a pre-cut tree or 3) get (or re-use) an artificial tree. (There is a fourth option, which we talk about in this article, but it’s not yet widely available.) Of the three options for festive arboreal decor, we land solidly in favour of cutting your own tree. Here’s why.
Get outside with your family
When the temperatures drop, it can be tough to get outside. Going to a tree farm to cut your own tree is possibly the nicest purpose we can imagine to get out and get moving…to walk along rows of trees, looking for the one that speaks the loudest to you (or heck, whispers quietly), “I’m your tree!”. If it’s snowy, bring your toboggan. If it’s not, bring your toboggan anyway, you’ll want something to pull your tree along with. Wear sturdy boots, a warm coat and mitts, and let your kids run around. It’s good for everyone.
Support a small business; support your community
Most cut-your-own tree farms are small businesses, often family-run. When you decide to get your tree from one of these farms, you’re doing a good thing. This time of year is when these smaller businesses will make their money for the year, so it’s not overstating it to say that they rely on lovely people like you.
Something to think about — get your tree from a farm that’s close to where you live. This will support your community economically, and, by driving your car the least possible distance, you’ll make the least possible impact on the environment, carbon-footprint-wise. (Plus, it’ll also mean less time spent fretting, on the way home, about that tree that’s attached to the roof of your car, just sayin’.)
Make a connection with your tree
Not to get too woo woo here, but don’t forget take a moment to celebrate nature. When you cut your tree, you are cutting a living thing for holiday decoration purposes. This is a moment you can take to honour the tree and the gift that nature has provided. You could talk about this with your children, as well as what will happen to the tree once the holidays are over. Hopefully, that means you’ll ensure the tree is composted or mulched — returned to nature, so the cycle of life is continued.
A few things to think about
- Timing: don’t get your tree too early – well-watered trees will hold their needles for an average of 3-4 weeks.
- Call (or look online) to be sure your farm is open when you go! You may also want to find out if they have saws available for customers (most do, but not all)
- Consider bringing cash — or find out if your chosen farm can accept cards
- Taking the dog along to help choose your tree? Be sure to also bring a leash
- Bring a tape measure; also, consider the size of your vehicle — what size tree will it accommodate inside, or on the roof if that’s your preference
- If you’re transporting your tree home on your vehicle’s roof, have something on hand to protect it (blanket or plastic sheet), bring rope or bungee cords to tie down your tree
- If you’re not able to get your tree up when you get it home, store it in an unheated garage or shed, out of the wind and sun, in a bucket of water (although, be mindful of temperature, you don’t want the water to freeze)