The Year of the Christmas Tree

on December 22 | in Decor, DIY | by | with 28 Comments

Pine and Magnolia Wreath


I think my children grew up thinking Christmas trees came from Wal-Mart.


Wal-Mart Christmas trees have always been a family tradition.  Each year we load into the car and drive to our local shopping center and walk through the automatic doors to the back of the store…..

…..and pick out our tree from the extensive available selection.

Isn’t that the way it’s done?

Don’t all Christmas trees come from a super center?


Fresh Pine Tree


You’ve seen them.

Stacks and stacks of pine trees….pressed against the chain link fence in the garden center.

Solemnly standing, just waiting for a home.

Each tree….pre-cut and ready for Christmas.


Cutting Down the Christmas Tree


But not this year.

This year was different.

This was the year of the freshly cut Christmas tree.

After all….we live in the country.  Home of pecan pies and pumpkins and cows and fresh eggs and home-grown corn….

…..and acres and acres of evergreen trees.


Freshly Cut Cedar


This weekend we went out on our Christmas tree adventure. The air was cool and crisp and you could hear the branches crunching under our feet as we tramped through the back pasture in search of the perfect tree for our front porch. We made a few stops along the way to throw stones across the pond and look at the pine cones high on the branches and find fossils in the dirt and glimpse an occasional deer.

And then we saw it.


Cedar Berries


High on the hill with its branches waving in the wind.

There it was.

The perfect Christmas tree.

So we chopped the tree down along with a few of it’s closest neighbors to decorate the front porch and fresh greenery to deck the halls.

Then….amidst shouts of exultation and exuberant sounds of joy and laughter….we carried our trees home.


Front Door Christmas


It was wonderful.

A new family tradition had begun.

We returned home victorious and completely and utterly Wal-Mart free.

And decked our halls and our front porch with our little gifts….

….from the crackling branch covered back pastures of the farms of Kentucky.

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28 Responses to The Year of the Christmas Tree

  1. Danice says:

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing with us :)

  2. What a beautiful memory you have created for your children KariAnne.

  3. Cutting down the Christmas tree is a tradition we did with our kids, now in college. At Thanksgiving they even asked if we were going to cut one down this year. A freshly cut tree lasts longer, you a buying local, and you are supporting a farmer.

  4. Beverly says:

    I think it all sounds wonderful, KariAnne. But, it is an adventure I’ve never experienced. Why, you ask?! Allergies. As much as I love the idea, the allergies would do me in.

    Your adventure certainly has yielded a gorgeous look. Now, I can do pecan pie.

  5. KariAnne, When do you sleep? YOu are one very busy gal!!! Hunting down our tree in the woods is a family tradition we look forward to every year. We have so many magical… and funny memories! I’m thrilled that you are starting that tradition too. What a beautiful Christmas laden front door!!!! I love your magnolias!

    Thanks, folks at FOLK.

  6. Oh Kari…how wonderful it is to be able to go out to your “pasture”…”your back 40″, to cut down Christmas trees…..for me?…I would have to call the Homeowner’s Association, Landscaping Board, to get permission to cut a branch!..So I just look at your porch with a huge sigh…seeing the beauty….of you bringing a part of your beautiful property to adorn your front porch…The evergreen and magnolia wreath is magnificent…Oh, and the girls are waay too adorable!!! Oh, I need a farm!!!

  7. Colleen says:

    Beautiful door wreath….I am now on the hunt for a magnolia tree! Thanks for the sweet story.

  8. Donnnamae says:

    Your front porch is gorgeous!! So happy you and your kids got to experience the Cutting Down of the Christmas Tree! Hopefully,it will become a family tradition, at least for a few years! We have fond memories…usually involving frozen toes…and lots of snow! ;)

  9. Anne says:

    Well it sounds like it turned out to be a fun day and adventure.Although we are not very adventurous here LOL. We walk down to our basement search for the right tote and pull out our faux tree :-) I know boring right!

  10. mommahen says:

    beautiful!! I also have a tree that my husband cut down for us. They will carry many more memories.

  11. My goodness your front porch looks gorgeous! That magnolia wreath and filler around the tree is perfect! Great job Kari! I love that you have a new tradition.

  12. Lynn says:

    Everything looks great. You probably won’t every be able to go back to store bought tree.

  13. Pat says:

    I love it! It’s rare these days to have access to the real thing. I’m sure your front porch looks and smells amazing. Nothing like the fresh pine fragrance ~

  14. Regina says:

    Karianne, you just took me back to MY childhood! Now our Christmas tree comes from the basement . . . but I love your front porch trees!! That might just be the “little something” that my front porch needs! Thanks!!

  15. Karianne,
    These were the only kind of Christmas trees that we had when I was growing up. We did what you did-trampled out together through the pasture as a family until we found just the right tree. My dad would cut it down and we’d drag it back to the house. Soooo glad that you are reinstating this tradition for your girls. By the way, your front porch looks fabulous!

  16. I adore your Walmart-less front porch! Simple and natural. The wreath is amazing! Who knew we could survive without lineups at the till?

  17. What a lovely post, Karianne…memory-making! You are blessed!

  18. Absolute perfection! When I was little my dad would head into the woods behind our house and come home with a tree….such joy! That tree went up in the family room because my mom could not stand the thought of pine tree needles in the rest of the house….but oh how I loved that tree totally decorated with ornaments made by the kids (which at that time was me and my nieces) and what nots from my dad’s workshop ~ those were the best trees ever. Thanks for sharing your memories and bringing back some of my best ones.

  19. Talia says:

    Wow! Your porch is beautiful! You have an amazing amount of talent. Thank you for sharing. Another lovely post for sure.

  20. Jamie says:

    That wreath is so rustic and beautiful!

  21. I wonder if the neighbors across the street would notice if I cut down their pine tree? Though, propping it up on my front porch — and adoring my front gate and porch with it’s fauna — would probably not be the best of ideas!

    As always, a fabulously written story!



  22. bj says:

    We lived in Colorado for awhile and one year, we cut out tree, too. It was such fun and my little boy was so excited…the little girl, too young to care. :) So glad your kids loved doing it, too.

    Your decorations are to die for….

  23. Absolutely gorgeous trees and wreath on your porch! Lovely!

  24. Zolane says:

    Beautifully done, KariAnne, and wonderful, as always, to hear the precious stories of your family.

  25. joanne nixon says:

    are the christmas issues out yet? i ordered one plus the 11 subscription (i know the sub starts in january),,,i paid for the christmas thru paypal…the sub too. can you tell me when the christmas issue will be sent.,,,,thank you, joanne nixon

  26. Shannon Fox says:

    I’m skipping the big tree this year so I’ll live vicariously through Karianne and her fresh cute beauty!

  27. What a positively magical story! I love it!! I remember tromping through the fields as a young girl and picking out a tree – what a fun memory! I’m sure your girls will love this new tradition. Hooray!!

  28. [...] PS  Read about our adventure and preview a little front door decorating over at the Folk blog today. [...]

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