December 4, 2017

Growing up in New York, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was the day after Thanksgiving. Instead of going to the mall, my family and I would go to Connecticut to cut down our very own Christmas tree. My parents would make turkey sandwiches out of leftovers and would pack up the leftover pecan pie.

Once we would get to the farm, we would eat our sandwiches and bundle up. It was always freezing, but we would always have to walk around the entire farm before deciding on a perfect tree.

Unlike Thanksgiving, where Nick and I have pretty much done the same thing every year, Christmas always looks different. I’ve gone to New York while Nick worked. One year we stayed in Hawaii and spent Christmas at our friend’s beach house watching their dog (no complaints there, it was an amazing Christmas on the beach!). A few years ago, we were moving to Connecticut right at Christmas so we ended up celebrating Christmas with my family in New York.

No matter when we celebrate Christmas together, we always do a few things. We always bake, make a special Christmas dinner, and watch our favorite Christmas movies. We always get some sort of tree. I invested in a fake Christmas tree, even though I don’t like them that much so that if we end up celebrating late or early, we’re ready. My favorite thing that Nick and I do together is decorate the tree.

Ever since we were dating, we would give each other ornaments for Christmas or buy them when we went away. Since Nick was always moving around we were always exploring new places together. It would be many years before we had a tree of our own, but by the time we got married, we already had a bunch of ornaments that were special to us.

We put on some Christmas music, drink some wine, light some candles, and decorate the tree. It’s my favorite thing that we do during the festive season.

This year, we decided to stay home for Christmas. I am not exaggerating when I say that I haven’t seen much of Nick this year. He was gone for weeks and weeks at a time and would come back just for a few days before leaving again. So we decided that we would spend his time off together, just the two of us. This will be the first Christmas we wake up together in our own home, so I am pretty excited about it.

Nick will have a chunck of time off for New Years, and I have been planning a surprise trip since August. I just told him we were going away, but I didn’t tell him where.

Since we’re going to be here for Christmas I knew that I wanted to go up to the north shore to cut down our own Christmas tree. I was telling one of my friends about our plan. She said she had never done that before, so I knew I had to bring her and her husband along.

Honestly, Nick was really tired from working all weekend, and he was not really in the mood to go, but he went for me. Normally, I would give him a pass and let him rest, but I don’t want him to miss out on everything because he is working.

So yesterday, we made the long drive up toe the north shore to Helemano Farms. My mom got us these shirts, and I knew that today was the day for us to wear them.

It’s so different from the Christmas tree farms back in New England, and it’s hard to find a tree over 6 feet tall, but it is so much fun. It’s like a taste of home. Plus, when do you get to pick out a Christmas tree while wearing shorts?!

We found our tree and snapped a quick picture in front of it. Once you find your tree, you have to wait for someone else to come to help you cut it down. Rule #1 of getting your Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm is that you do not abandon your tree once you find it.

While we were waiting for my friend’s husband to come back to the tree, my friend and I started talking about Christmas vacation. We were talking about whether or not we should buy trip insurance since you never really know what can happen in the military.

I said, “Well, almost everything is refundable that I booked. The one thing that annoys me is that the military camp doesn’t accept cancellations less than 30 days in advanc. You would think that a military camp of all places would accept last minute cancellations.”

If you live in Hawaii, you know that “military camp” means the cabins in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, reserved for the military. Nick heard, and just like that, the huge surprise trip that I had been planning since August was ruined!

I was kind of annoyed at myelf, but it was funny, and now Nick is super excited to go to the Big Island. Plus, he has no idew how much aweseome stuff I have planned so I am not telling him anyhting else about the trip. Anyway, back to the farm….

I’m not really sure what was happening here.

Do you cut down your tree? Do you have a fake tree? Whatever you do, don’t spill your secrets at the Chritmas tree farm.

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10 responses to “Spilling my secrets at the Christmas tree farm.”

  1. Those shirts are AMAZING! I love them.
    Aw, even though he won’t be surprised now, I’m sure you will have an amazing time.
    We have a fake tree. I always had a fake tree growing up, so that’s what we went with. Also, not sure how our dogs would do with a real tree in the house. I feel like they might think they can be pee on them like they do outside – ha! I’d love to get a real one someday though.

  2. Jen says:

    Awww I’m sorry that he heard you talking about but I’m glad that he is excited about it. You guys are going to have an amazing time!

  3. That’s such a fun family tradition to go out and cut down your own tree, and I’m glad that you were able to continue it this year with Nick! I’d love to do that once with the girls once they’re older because it would be such a fun memory! That’s such a bummer that Nick found out about your surprise, but like you said you still have some surprises up your sleeve!

  4. Rachel G says:

    I didn’t even know that they had Christmas tree farms in Hawaii! Pretty cool that you guys got to get a live tree this year. I can only remember very few Christmases where we had real trees–back when I was really little and we lived on a farm in Michigan, my Dad would cut a tree down from somewhere in the woods on the family property. Now, we only have “flat Christmas Trees” as in, usually some time of homemade tree shape stuck to the wall because you definitely can’t get a real tree here and storing a fake one all year in a tiny apartment isn’t too practical!

  5. Julie says:

    Oh boo for him finding out but at least the rest of the trip is still all a surprise!! Love the t-shirts!!

  6. Audrey says:

    Aw man… bummer on letting the cat out of the bag! I bet that pic was of him being excited about the trip and you still being kind of annoyed but also happy and amused that he was so happy 😉 Haha! But maybe not. Good tree pick! We go to a nursery and get our tree so we don’t have to cut it down, but we still pick it 🙂

  7. Rachel says:

    I love those matching t-shirts! It’s so nice of your family to send you something so that you can be a part of each other’s Christmas even though you’re apart. And I have to say letting the cat out of the bag is totally something I would do, but I bet that’ll just make the story even more funny to look back on in the future 🙂

  8. Anna Parker says:

    Love that you have Christmas t-shirts rather than jumpers! As for trip insurance – always, having just had a massive cancellation trauma with our insurer and the hotels (although in the end we got pretty much everything back)

  9. Carly says:

    What a cool tradition you were able to recreate even being in Hawaii where tree farms aren’t as common! I’m the worst at keeping secrets about stuff like that because I get too excited. Even if he knows where you’re going now, at least he still has the anticipation of getting to go somewhere amazing that you’ve planned!

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