Some of my core childhood memories are picking out our family’s live Christmas tree from one of our local lots. My father loves telling the story that one year he got out his wallet to pay for a tree and I burst into tears. Apparently, my six-year-old heart was set on a different tree at a different lot. The worker smiled and said, “I understand.” We loaded back into our station wagon and drove to pick up my perfect tree.
This post is brought to you by our partners at North Carolina Christmas Tree Association.
When my husband and I had our own children, I knew I wanted to continue our live Christmas tree tradition. But it took some convincing. My husband’s family is from a different camp–team fake tree. If you’re passionate about live Christmas trees, it’s hard to understand the other side. Thankfully, my husband was willing to give a live tree a chance. All it took was our first live tree for my husband to be convinced of its magic. He loves—like I do—the smell of a fresh tree filling our house, the cozy glow of the lights draped across the dark green branches and the unmistakable feel of a classic Christmas.
Nothing says holiday tradition like a Fraser Fir. For those who may not know, the Fraser Fir is the iconic Christmas tree. It has a beautiful shape and sturdy branches that can hold even your heaviest ornaments. Lucky for East Tennesseans, Fraser Firs are native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. All it takes is a short drive over the North Carolina border to visit family-owned tree farms where the Fraser Fir flourishes.
The North Carolina Christmas Tree Association (NCCTA) says from those farms, trees are shipped to every state in the U.S. as well as the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada, Japan and other places all around the world. When the NCCTA reached out to Knoxville Moms to ask us to share the magic of a North Carolina Fraser Fir, it was an easy yes because I know the magic firsthand. I love seeing my children racing down the rows of trees to find the perfect one. Each tree was planted roughly 12-years ago even before they were born.
There is nothing like the excitement on their faces when they yell, “This is it!” Mom gives final approval and then Dad gets to work. Most tree farms have saws available for your use, but my husband likes to bring his trusty one from home. Just as the tree is about to topple over, our children laugh and yell “Timber!”
Our visits to a tree farm aren’t complete without hot chocolate or some other Christmas-y treat and the obligatory photo op. Sometimes we’ve even seen Santa there! Then it’s time to begin the journey home with our precious tree.