As we’re celebrating our first Christmas as a family of three, Mr. G and I decided to establish some new family traditions. We have discussed the prospect of cutting down our own tree for as many years as we’ve been married, but never went through with it. We thought this year was the perfect time to start and right after Thanksgiving we cut down our first Christmas tree at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, MD.
The tree farm is just a small section of the much larger property, but they have a selection of both fir and pine. We found one of the most beautifully symmetrical Canaan fir trees we’d ever seen, and small enough to fit under the short ceilings of our 40’s bungalow.
Mr. G was a champion. IV and I stood on and cheered while Mr. G felled the tree in short order with a small handsaw. As short as it was (just a hair over 6 feet), we were able to get the tree in the back of our Volvo and drove it back to the main farmhouse for shaking and wrapping. I purchased a large boxwood and fir wreath for the front door and then we drove away with a hand-picked, hand-sawn tree for less than $60.
We trimmed the tree the next night while enjoying a bottle of Farnum Hill Semi-dry Cider from Lebanon, NH (pull out your crystal stemware for ciders!). We have a collection of ornaments from travels, some commemorative of our milestones, and a number of gold White House ornaments we inherited. The tree is topped with a beautiful Swarovski star that was gifted to us by my mother-in-law for our first Christmas as newlyweds. But this year, IV’s first ornament – a green, wooden nutcracker with a gold saber – has pride of place.
We abandoned the tree skirt this year in favor of burlap fabric, which I purchased by the bolt. I think it’s a beautiful contrast to all of those glittering lights and ornaments. IV’s first gift from Santa (delivered early on account it’s so heavy, we said) is wrapped in Kraft paper and tied with a handmade plaid bow. To be honest, I’ve never been so excited to see something so pretty come to pieces.