Hunting for a 7 footer...

We own an artificial Christmas Tree that we have used for the past 20 years. That began as we lived in an apartment in Vienna because it was seemingly easier to deal with at the time. It's been through an international move, a couple of floods, a tornado, a pair of dogs anointing it, various levels of ornaments and lights that have been hung and strung on it over the past two decades. After several years of pleading from the family, I finally gave in this year and agreed to get a real tree for Christmas 2015.

We headed out as a family last Saturday during Thanksgiving weekend to the tree farm north of Indianola along with what appeared to be hundreds of others. They provide a cart for you to carry your tree, a handsaw, and send you off to go into the middle of the tree farm to "hunt" for your ideal specimen. They had several types of trees and the only rule was that you couldn't cut down anything that was 3 feet tall or less.

I have to say, the "hunt" and sharing of opinions between the 4 of us on the ideal tree was quite fun. The process enables the family to discuss and settle on one that all of us could agree upon to make a nice tree for our home.

Zack did the honors of sawing once we had all settled on "THE TREE".


We loaded up the bagged tree on the cart.


I pulled the cart.


Waiting in line at the tree farm office to pay for the 7 footer.


$109 later, the 7 foot tree we chose was wrapped in netting for the drive home, a fresh wreath for the front door had been picked, and we had a new tree stand to hold the Weihnachtsbaum.


Alexa and I hung the lights on the tree on Sunday, but we will do our ornaments when the kids get back from college for the holidays. So many have broken over the years, we may be hitting the stores to get some new ones. Meanwhile, I add water to the tree stand just about every other day to keep it from drying out too fast. I'll post up a picture once it is fully decked out!


We had a scheduled family photography session on the day after Thanksgiving, but the bad weather kept us from a photo session outside and the photographer did not have lighting for an indoor shot. We thought it would be nice to get an updated shot to use for Holiday cards this year. Since we couldn't meet the photographer on another day while Zack and Alexa were home for Thanksgiving, we called our neighbor who came over and took photos of us as a family with our iPhone.

Here's one that turned out okay including the dogs...


All in all, it was a nice family start to the holiday season that brought in what I hope is a new tradition for us regarding using a real tree. We wish the best to everyone for enjoying the season, time with your family, the music, the traditions, and hope.

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