Bringing Back the Real This Christmas {Making Memories!}

We are thrilled to share happy Christmas memories this year in partnership with the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. As always, all of our thoughts and opinions are proudly our own.

What a year, mommas. I don’t know about you but I am SO ready to get my Christmas spirit on after what has been a TOUGH year {is dumpster fire to strong an analogy for 2020?} I’m going to be honest; I’m not usually a huge Christmas fanatic. We do the requisite decorating and I do really enjoy the special traditions our family of 4 has:: ornament decorating night, Christmas light driving, special treats I only make this time of year, neighborhood gatherings with Ugly Christmas sweaters, and more.

But this year feels different. More sacred? More appreciative of the time we’ve had with our immediate families. And more specifically, the time we have NOT had with our other families and friends. 

Honestly I cannot think of a better year to start a new tradition. New excitement and something to look forward to. A family event. This is the year of the real Christmas tree.

Bringing Back the Real This Christmas {Making Memories!}

Backstory::  My daddy was an East Texas boy. From the time I could remember, we always had a real Christmas tree. It was just the four of us then too and with most of our family either out of state or deceased, we had pretty small Thanksgiving celebrations. So every Friday after the Turkey Day festivities had wrapped up, my parents threw us in the Caddy and we headed east to Christmas tree farms to find “the tree”. 

Remember, this was the 80s and 90s. We didn’t have smartphones or the internet. We used real maps {remember those?} and followed handmade road signs to find obscure tree farms to hunt our tree. I remember pulling up at the farms and just breathing in that heavenly pine scent. It smelled like the holidays. Some years we were in shorts and t-shirts, other years we froze in sweatshirts unprepared for the chill. God bless Texas. My daddy would always hire one of the tractor/hayrides to take us out into the middle of the farm because he was convinced the better trees were the furthest out.

And then we would start the search. We had specific qualities we were looking for. It HAD to be at least 10 feet. I don’t know why. It had to look good from most angles. It had to feel plush and not have missing bare spots. We were looking for that unicorn tree. I’d run one way, my brother would run another, my mom would just be saying “I think we can make this work, Barry,” and Daddy was ready with his saw. 

Bringing Back the Real This Christmas {Making Memories!}

Oh, the saw. Always an adventure. He’d get under that tree and go to town. Sure made me nervous, but he was a pro. {As he got older, we got staff to help us!} Lots of sap, y’all. Lots of sap. And then the farm would come by, pick up the tree we had so thoughtfully picked out, take it to the “shucking” station, net that bad boy up, and load it onto the roof of the family caddy. 

We’d usually stop on the way home in random small towns to grab gas or a bite to eat, or one lucky year for me… a doll shop where I procured the porcelain doll of my dreams – a pioneer girl a la Laura Ingalls. That was a fun tree hunt. We’d get home and pay neighbors in cocktails or food to assist us with putting up the tree. Not going to lie, much like most things in life, our eyes were always bigger than our living room, so many times additional tree cuts had to be done and multiple years, fishing line attached to eye hooks to keep the monstrosity upright.

Bringing Back the Real This Christmas {Making Memories!}

Oh, but what JOY and laughs it brought to our family. It bonded us. It was our thing. Our tradition. And every Friday after Thanksgiving until needles were literally falling off in early January, we inhaled and lived the spirit of the real Christmas tree. More than a tree for sure. 

Lasting memories.

I think this is the year the real Christmas tree tradition needs to come back for our family. An opportunity to do something different, to get outside, explore, laugh, take a hayride, and then finally load up one of our own. With so many things canceled, quite honestly, this is the year we have time to do so. And with so many economic impacts of Covid 19, I love the idea of supporting local businesses and farmers across our region. This is and should be the year of giving back with generous spirits.

Plus how amazing is that we can recycle our Christmas trees? From the earth, back to the earth, 100% biodegradable.  You know that we at Houston Moms are passionate about being good to our planet! But you may not know that real Christmas trees are grown for harvest. And for every tree purchased, one goes back into the ground, assuring memories for generations to come. 

Want to know how to find your own real Christmas tree this year? Check out this site, “It’s Christmas, Keep it Real”. I promise you there will be a place in your area to venture out to and grab that real pine scent for your family that doesn’t come from a candle. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and their interactive map will help you find a real Christmas tree no matter where you live and like to shop:: from choose & cut to seasonal lots or garden centers and more! 

So load up that holiday playlist, grab your festive clothes, a camera, and make plans to snag your very own real Christmas tree this season. I cannot wait. 

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