When my daughters were young, a trip to the Christmas tree farm was an essential yuletide tradition. With babies on my back and tiny mittened hands held in mine, we would tromp through the fields together, enjoying the excitement of a cold Christmas adventure.
But as years have gone by, this errand has sometimes seemed more of a nuisance than a joyous ritual. Complicated schedules, finals weeks, and competing holiday priorities have made it more difficult to us to find an agreeable time, and grabbing a tree at a local store has simplified our lives, allowing us to focus more attention and energy on decorating the tree and some of the other enjoyable customs of the season.
Also, the owners of our most favorite tree farm were forced to sell their property several years ago, and, try as we might, we were never able to find another farm that quite measured up to its charm and personality.
So it came as a bit of a surprise this year when my daughters unanimously rallied around the idea of venturing out to a tree farm in pursuit of this year's tree. Not everyone was able to come along on yesterday's trip, but they all agreed that the outing was a tradition worth returning to.
And I am happy about that.
Probably more surprising was the fact that we discovered a new and perfectly delightful tree farm. Bowen Tree Farm in Arlington not only delivers plenty of tall, straight, well-grown firs but amiable owners, cozy ambiance and a fair deal. I will definitely go back and if you live in the area, I totally recommend you check them out.
Within a half hour, I was able to capture this shot of the second-most satisfying sight to be seen during a visit to a Christmas tree farm: a fresh tree, baled for convenience, and safely fastened to the top of the car:
What, you may ask yourself, could make this outing any better? What sight could be more satisfying and more purely magical than a sweet-smelling fresh tree, harvested from a beautiful field and ready to become an icon of our holiday?
Yes. For only the second time in my Pacific Northwest life, snowflakes fell during our tree farm expedition. Here is the proof: a few quickly melting flakes on the head of my Ranger:
Well, there was no blizzard, but just enough white swirly bits filled the air to lend the perfect Christmas-y feel to our outing. This trip was not only a fond throwback to the early years of our family, but a good reminder that some traditions are worth a second chance.
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Read more about my getting-ready-for-Christmas adventures: