It's been somewhat of a tradition since I was a teenager for my family and I to head out to the "mountains" to chop down our Christmas Tree. We started this tradition when my family moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area from Southern California and it's a tradition that my husband and I have continued with our children!
Now it's a multi-generational extended family event that usually ends up being a great day roaming around the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains with my family, and when I say 'my family,' I mean my WHOLE FAMILIA!! Grandparents, parents, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters all join in on the fun.
This year adventure included only 13 people of my family....we were still missing about half!
Generally, those who celebrate Christmas have a Christmas Tree, whether they chop it down themselves, go to a neighborhood Christmas tree lot, buy an artificial tree or buy a planted tree. My family doesn't have too many "set in stone" traditions but this is one that we have kept for a long time. Why?
- We all love the adventure of going and cutting our own Christmas Tree down.
- The house smells like pine for a long time and the trees last a long time.
- The children in my family take more "ownership" of the Christmas Tree.
- It's a great chance to build long lasting family memories in the outdoors and an opportunity for my family to gather all together which is quite a task in itself!
I love watching all my nephews, cousins and my own children run around the farm looking for the PERFECT Christmas Tree, playing hide seek and in particular watching them slide down the muddy hills!
Watching the kids chop down their own tree is always a great treat especially when they can yell "Timber!!"
Even though the San Francisco Bay Area doesn't get "real winter" a.k.a. snow, we still have signs of winter....
Bay Area Christmas Tree Farms
There are many Christmas tree farms around the Bay Area, but I've only seen farms in primarily heading out to Half Moon Bay and towards the Santa Cruz Mountains. We love going to Jim & Vicky's Christmas Tree at the end of Black Road Christmas Tree Farms in Los Gatos, California.
Christmas Tree Price: $50 any size (Price as of 2014)
Equipment Provided: Saw, twine and instructions to cut the tree
Location: 20381 Black Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033
Opening: Friday after Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. to dark
They are a small "Mom & Pop" friendly farm, very friendly and they always give out cookies and candy canes to everyone! The farm has "Manly/Womanly" hilly side and the "Sissy" flat side as Jim says jokingly, but there are lots of Douglas Fir trees and a smaller section of Blue Spruce trees. Jim also explains that cutting the tree will NOT kill the tree if directions are followed, and a new tree will grow!
There are MANY Christmas Tree farms on Black Road but we have always gone to Jim and Vicky's Christmas Trees because we love supporting "Mom & Pop" operations!
I highly suggest adventuring out to chop down your own Christmas Tree. There are even some regional parks and national forest areas where you can cut your own tree with a permit for free. But a little research must be made in your area to find locations like those! Christmas tree farms might be a little more expense that Christmas Tree lots but I think it's worth the investment.
Lots of family memories can be made by bringing a little bit of the outdoors indoors for Christmas!
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