We couldn't stop this tradition if we tried (the hot chocolate stop is as important as the tree).
The farm itself is about an hour's drive north of Asheville, nestled in the mountains, and owned by a sturdy talker in a red flannel shirt and jeans. No gloves... Even the year we brought our tree back during a snowstorm. Each year he comments on how much the kids have grown.
This was our weekend, true to tradition, with a few tweaks, the company of friends, and some new decorations for our tree.
Saturday once again found us wandering among the trees racing after the kids from tree to tree to determine their worthiness to grace our living room and our Christmas. Maia wanted the tallest possible one that would fit into our modest home. Harry and I wanted a good shape. (Daphne enjoyed the adventure and was attracted to the baby trees her size.)
We ended up choosing a tree that just scraped the ceiling. Maia tied the orange ribbon on it, marking it as ours.
Then the girls watched as the men with the chainsaw cut it down for us, carried it to their special baler, and tied it to the top of the car.
Our friends, who joined us for the excursion, did the same.
Once home, we wrangled our new tree into place, talked it into standing straight, wound white lights around and around, and draped it with the colorful paper chains we've been making.
This one is from an animal chain kit, printed with Melissa Sweet designs, that I bought from Stubby Pencil Studio.
I'm not usually one for a kit, feeling like I have more than enough in the way of art supplies and creativity to tackle most ideas and projects, but we all fell in love with this one. It is gorgeous! And definitely worth the ten bucks.
Here Maia and her friend Stella are proudly showing off the completed chain, stretching it from the dining room through the living room.
We also added a stained glass "paper" chain—an idea from my winter crafts eBook.
It's made with contact paper and colored tissue paper, like many children's suncatcher projects, and then cut into strips that are taped together into a chain. Really easy. It's also my favorite. We have another hanging in the window.
And, finally, another suncatcher-type paper chain from my eBook, made with the same translucent colored index dividers that we've used for stained glass and suncatcher projects.
I love how the Christmas lights shine through both of the stained glass versions!
By the end of the weekend, the girls started decorating the tree, mostly with salt dough ornaments. Some from years past and some from recent crafting while putting together the Christmas chapter of the eBook. And I'm sure we'll add to the collection over the next few weeks...