Our First Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Now that it is officially December, we have begun decorating the apartment and I have never been more excited about the holidays than I am this year. For the first time ever, on the first day of December, Mike and I went to a Christmas tree farm to cut down a real tree! It was so exciting and since we had so much fun, we decided to make it a brand new Powell family tradition.

Since this is our first Christmas together in our tiny little apartment, we wanted to make it a big deal and get a real tree. Both of our families typically use artificial trees and so we thought it would be super fun to actually go out and cut one down ourselves. If I could, I'd go full out Griswold on our little place but since it's only our first year of marriage and Mike has many years to come of my extreme holiday excitement, I thought I'd keep it simple this year. When we get a big house though, it's on!

I did lots of research into the tree farms around the area and finally settled on Shovaker's Quality Evergreens in Manchester. Boy, was it a hike but so worth it! We borrowed my dad's truck and a tree stand from Mike's mom and drove up. We actually crossed over into Pennsylvania for about a mile and then the road somehow turned back into Maryland. Yes, it was very far away but I wanted a good tree and not from some odd little place on the side of a road.

I am not sure about other tree farms since this is the first one we have ever been to, but wow, this place was pretty cool. They had an area where you could buy pre-cut trees, a petting zoo, Christmas music, free hot chocolate and apple cider, food, all kinds of wreaths and other Christmas decor, and a shop where they sold local and handmade Christmas items. We really enjoyed this trip and I think we will probably go back again next year!

Here is Mike with our tree cart. He kept telling me he could carry the tree and he didn't need a cart but I insisted. He's such a man.

The awesome goats and I think a llama that were part of the petting zoo. They were so freaking adorable!

I, of course, had to stop and smell as many trees as I could get my hands on. The pine smell filled the air as soon as we stepped out of the car. It was so delicious smelling I wanted to take them all home, or live there!

And here is OUR TREE! He is about 6 feet tall and absolutely perfect! I named him Max after the dog from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

How did we know that this was the tree, you ask? Well, we were looking through the thousands of trees they had on the farm and when we came across this guy, we started inspecting him and guess what I found? A LADYBUG! It was a lucky tree! So I immediately started jumping around and getting all excited that we had found our tree. Mike thought I was crazy but when I showed him the little lady bug, he knew Max would be coming home with us.

The decorating didn't begin as soon as we got home, unfortunately. We had a little bit of trouble getting him in the tree stand at first because we realized we forgot to ask them to cut the bottom branches off so that his trunk would sit inside the stand. We ran out to Lowes and got some clippers and we were finally able to get him standing upright. By that time, we had to leave to head down to my parents' house for dinner. We decorated him over the next few days and just finished off the last bit last night.

Our little apartment is so cute and cozy now, I never want to leave. It's so nice to turn on the lights at night and enjoy the fire. We were also able to hang our stockings over the fireplace. We had been thinking about buying or even making our own mantel to hang them on but ended up saving the money for when we have a house and I just bought a couple of those clear 3M hangers. They did the trick and it looks so festive now! Mike's dad gave us both of the stockings and it's nice to have a matching pair.

I can't wait to start baking cookies and wrapping presents! Hope you all have a nice weekend!

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