O, Christmas Tree

I believe adamantly that Christmas celebration should not commence until after Thanksgiving, my personal favorite holiday.  I know a lot of people start putting up Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music after Halloween, but, if you do that, you cheat Thanksgiving out of its fair share of celebration.  The minute Thanksgiving ends, though, Christmastime has arrived!  In my opinion, this makes the weekend after Thanksgiving the ideal time to get a tree.

Kevin and I both grew up with live trees, so there has never been a question of what kind of tree we would have in our own home.  I have a 6-ft skinny guy from Target that I bought the first year out of college for like $20 because my roommate and I did not want to deal with a live tree on our own.  That little Charlie Brown guy makes a great secondary tree in our dining room.  The real thing, though, has to be living.

Growing up in the suburbs, buying a real tree meant going to a nursery and picking out one of their nice pre-cut guys.  My parents would work on that while my sister and I pushed each other around on those big flat carts they have at those places.  Kevin’s family has always cut their own tree (and apparently there is some magical place in MI where you can do that for just $5?!).  Last year, we went to the most popular local tree farm, Young’s, for my first experience with cutting down a tree.  That place is a well-oiled machine and you pay for it.  This year, we really wanted to find a cheaper option.  Enter Millstone Christmas Tree Farm.

A little Google searching for tree farms in our area lead us to this small family-owned and operated farm just outside Jamestown.  Their prices beat Young’s by a long shot, and, I’ll be honest, a nice website goes a long way in convincing me to support your business.  Another plus, the day we went was Small Business Saturday in America and so I was thrilled to be participating in supporting the local economy and small business growth.  Despite the dark sky in the pictures, we actually went about 9:30 on Saturday morning.  When we first pulled up, we were immediately skeptical.  We thought their front yard (pictured below) was the whole farm.  Not a lot of options there.

Thankfully, once we pulled into the driveway, we saw several lots of trees behind their house.  They were perfectly organized and well labeled with hand painted signs for each tree type.

We were greeted by who we could only assume was a father and son (or son-in-law) team who set us up with a saw and cart and sent us into their beautifully maintained lot.  Seriously, I have never seen prettier trees.  Every single tree had been trimmed and shaped to an ideal shape.  Either that, or Millstone trees grow naturally perfect.

We wandered around the lot for a little while.  It helped that we were not tied to a specific type of tree.  We felt a bit limited by height.  There were a lot of 9-10 foot options, and some 5-6 foot options.  In our little house, we really don’t have room for anything much taller than 7-feet, but we definitely did not want anything shorter.  Go big or go home!

I make it sound like we were out there for hours.  Really, there were so many great options, it took us twenty minutes, tops.  We’re a very decisive couple.  When we find something we like, we go for it.  And thus we came to find this guy!

Kevin did a great job sawing him down and loading him onto our little cart (btw – so much nicer than those sleds at Young’s).  Here’s the champion after his work was completed:

 We took our tree up to the house where the father/son team gave us a ticket for our Scotch Pine and sent us indoors while they wrapped him up.  Inside the house, we were greeted by more Millstone family members and given hot chocolate and cookies. Back outside, father & son gave us our wrapped tree and some twine for loading our tree.  Now, I would cite this as the only downside of not going to Young’s.  Last year, we sat in our car while the Young’s employees did all the work of tying our tree down.  At Millstone, we had to secure our own tree, which is not something we excelled at.  Kevin pointed out that all of our grandfathers and fathers would have been ashamed of us had they seen how much twine we needed to tie that guy down and how we went about it.

We got it home, though, despite the fact that by the time we got there, it was sitting diagonally on our car roof.  Regardless, that guy is now standing proudly in our living room!  As you can see, he’s the perfect height for our room.  There’s just the right about of room for a star at the top.

I’ll try to do another post sometime this season showing all our Christmas decorations.  In my humble opinion, our tree looks pretty good.  Before I do that, though, I’m going to have to magically improve at photography and learn how to take halfway decent pictures of things that are lit up.  Any suggestions?  In the mean time, the Napp family wishes you a very merry Christmas season!

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