As we rode out in the wagon at Stokoe Farms this year, I spent some time recapping some of the stories from years past of cutting our Christmas tree. We had my mother-in-law, Janice with us for the first time and we thought it might be fun to share some of the Christmas Tree Memories with her.
Our Christmas Tree Memories:
The whole tree cutting business started because my parents used to talk of cutting their own tree when my brothers were little, but that was something I got jipped out of. We always went to the local pre-cut lot and picked a tree (at least that I can remember). So I decided that Joey and I would start cutting our trees. Our first two Christmases together we did not cut. The first year we bought a (very expensive) potted tree because I really wanted a real tree and we could not have a cut one in our apartment.
Here it now stands, significantly taller than my parents’ house and significantly larger than when they planted it in their yard during the spring of 1999.
The second year we only had a mini white artificial tree that had been passed down from my parents. Chloe was a newborn, and we were in the process of fixing up our first house so we could move. It was a little sad not to go all Christmas crazy that year, but it was a lot less work for me in the midst of newborn land and moving land!
The Christmases that follow get a little jarred up as to what happened which year. All our early years of cutting we went to places more to the east of where we live. There was a great place called Wilbert’s that we really liked. One year, Chloe was small (maybe 2), and we did not have Jayden yet, we went to cut our Christmas tree at Wilburts. She was a bundled head to toe, ready to head out into the winter cold. BUT, we just couldn’t do it, she was so sick! We ended up heading inside the barn to pick a pre-cut tree. We spent WAY more than we wanted to on a tree that year.
The Christmas I was pregnant with Jayden brought a blizzard on the day we wanted to cut our tree! It was only a week or so before I gave birth to Jayden and we needed to get our tree for fear I would go into labor and we wouldn’t have the time to get a tree!
In 2003 the weather was a little nicer and we cut our tree from a tree farm more local to my parents house called Conklin Tree Farms.
In 2006 my mother broke her foot and was laid up for the holidays. We were so bummed because we didn’t want to cut a tree without them. Seeing as she couldn’t walk to cut a tree, we took her in a wheelchair to a local place around the corner from them called Sarah’s. Chloe recounts pushing her up and down through the aisles of pre-cut trees to help her select one for their house.
We also set up their tree for them as well. It was only days before my brother was to arrive for our family Christmas and their tree was still not ready. While they were away at a church function Joey, the kids and I headed out to their house to set up the tree. We couldn’t find the lights so we bought all brand new strands. We only set up a few of the ornaments you see on the tree in the photo below. We just got the tree in it’s stand and up, as well as putting on all the lights, tinsel, and a few ornaments. We left the rest of the ornaments out and ready for my parents to enjoy doing themselves.
Another year we drove all over creation because the selection of trees to cut was so slim. It was a tough year because we had just lost Papa Peter so we were kind of going through the motions to keep things as normal as possible for the kids. In the photo below we trotted out into the field (with Ava strapped to the front of me), and ended up coming back out with no tree!
We finally ended up at a place right up the road from us that always has pre-cut trees. We were so tired of driving all over that it didn’t matter that we did not cut one that year. While retelling this story to Janice this year, my mother commented on how much gas we must of spent driving all over that year!
I do believe this was our first year cutting a tree at Stokoe Farms. This might be the year we sat in the snow for 20 minutes because Gommy’s count got too low. She had to take a bunch of glucose and sit for a bit. This was NOT so much fun in the freezing cold!
Another Stokoe Farms year! This was our first experience with their clearance tree section though. We believe they are clearing out certain fields so that they can re-plant. The kids love these carts more for toting each other around than for lugging the tree around!
In 2010 we went to a very small tree farm about 35 minutes west of us near our friends’ Shana and Dave’s house. We did not get our most favorite tree this year, in fact it was probably the worst tree we have ever put up in our home. The great part about this year was sharing it with our friends. “The boys” as we call them or more accurately Shana and “the boys” are like extended family. Plus, Alex just loves Chloe!
This year brought many new memories from Stokoe Farms:
* the baby Yak that stalked the Great Dane
* the fact that there was no snow
* we got our cheapest tree ever ($15)
* my parents’ got their shortest tree ever (thanks to my dad cutting like 3 feet off the ground!)
* our tree fell off the wagon on the trip back up from the fields! (Ava noticed it and alerted us to the fallen tree!)
Now about this cheap tree! We hit the clearance trees before looking at the regular trees again this year. We found there to be 3 different colors of tags. The blue tags were $32, the orange tags were $25 and then we saw purple tags. I walked up to a purple tag and yelled out, “The purple tags are $15 and they are the Charlie Brown trees!” Much to my amusement though, the next purple tagged tree I saw seemed just fine. I kept thinking there must be something wrong with it, but we agreed it was our tree of choice. It is a little smaller than some of our other trees, (but really needed to be to fit into a different corner this year), and it is the easiest time we have ever had getting a tree into the stand and the tree top on.