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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

December 10th, 2011

This past Thursday, Mr Chiots and I went down to the local farm to get our Christmas tree (yep we still call it that not a “holiday tree”). It’s a cute little place, run by an old man and his wife. We had planned on going earlier in the week, but it was raining. Thursday turned out to be a beautiful day, sunny and bright with beautiful blue skies. It was cold too, except for a lack of snow on the ground, it was the perfect day.

We walked around and selected the perfect little frasier fir. I voted for a charlie brown one, but Mr Chiots is more keen on the full ones, he won.

Mr Chiots and I are serial entrepreneurs so we always talk about ways we’d improve businesses when we are at them. We’ve also talked about having a little Christmas tree farm someday. We talked about all the ways we could make our farm the most festive and best one around from having local hot cider and delicious cookies on hand to making garland and wreaths from tall the trimmings for an additional revenue stream.

We chatted for a while with the man that owns the farm, mainly disussing the oil/gas industry. He signed over all of his mineral rights and it looks like the big Keystone pipline is being laid right through the middle of the farm.

We packed up our little tree into the car along with a few armloads of extra branches to decorate the rest of the house and we set off toward home.

Out came the heirloom cast iron tree stand that my parents used to use and the evening was spent adding a few pearly white twinkle lights and a few etched glass balls to our tree. Red glass beaded garland finished it off and our perfectly simple Christmas tree is now filling our home with the a warm glow and the wonderful scent of pine. I was happy to spot a tiny little spider while decorating the tree.

What kind of tree graces your home during the holidays?

22 Comments to “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”
  1. Barbara on December 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Since moving back to Maine, we buy our tree from the same family-operated little tree farm that my parents went to when I was a kid. I love the feeling of continuity, of laying down rituals that my kids will look back on.

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  2. goatpod2 on December 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    An artificial tree just got a new one a couple of weeks ago from a 2nd hand store.


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  3. denise on December 10, 2011 at 9:30 am

    we are getting our tree this weekend. I am a little concerned about our lab puppy’s response to it. She loves to chew on sticks :) Your tree is nice. Nothing better than the smell of a fresh cut tree.

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  4. Donna B. on December 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Unfortunately our first room in the house isn’t very large, or wide I should say – so getting a full-sized tree was a bit of a hassle the first year or two… now? I buy live potted dwarf conifers that I plant right after Christmas! It will not only be a good investment, but it also allows me to create some better winter interest in my garden!
    I may opt to get a small Charlie Brown-type christmas tree, so at least we can have the smell of pine in the house when the potted plant is still waiting outside till it’s closer to the holiday… hehe!
    [I love simple decorations! The red garland sounds perfect!]

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  5. Allison on December 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    This year we got a white scotch I believe it was. It smells lovely! The farm we went to this year was an elderly lady whose husband, I assume, has passed on. She said all her kids and grandkids have grown up and moved on and no one wants to do the farm anymore. It was sad — you could see the large barns and hay wagons that probably mad the farm a hit tree hunting spot in it’s hey day! Hubby & I too talked about how neat it would be to take it over!

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    • Susy on December 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

      That sounds like a wonderful place, I’d take over for sure!

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  6. Sincerely,Emily on December 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Your tree is beautiful. The images conger up the scent in my mind. We always had a real tree growing up. When my husband & I moved to Palm Springs, Ca we got a beautiful real tree the first year. Even with a fresh cut on it and water, w/in a few days most of the needles were falling off. We realized that the super dry desert air just wasn’t going to work for us and real tree so the following year we bought an artificial one (that was SO hard to do!). Emily

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  7. tj on December 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

    …That is a gorgeous Christmas tree and what a beautiful setting too. :o)

    …We had a beautiful Christmas Tree Farm near us called, “Pumpkins & Pines”. It was set on a historical farm with a beautiful old farmhouse and barns nestled down in a valley. The big barn was open to local crafters & artisans, the little log barn was where they had a Santa and kids could get their picture taken, they had a small petting zoo with goats and sheep and they offered little train rides around the farm for kids which was actually a small yard tractor pulling a string of little wagons. They also would offer up food, snacks and hot cider.
    In the Fall they would sell Pumpkins and do the craft show and such. It is an awesome place. I believe that had about 100 acres in Christmas trees and 40 acres in pumpkins. I became friends with the owners and they always said how much hard work goes into it all and “don’t expect to get rich” from it they would add. The farm has been in their family for generations but they got out of the business so they could spend more time with their grandkids. We miss them being open as I’m sure so many around here do.

    …I love your Christmas Tree stand and how your dog is looking at the tree like, “oh geez, here we go again.” lol… :o)

    …Enjoy your weekend you two!

    …Blessings :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

    • Susy on December 11, 2011 at 1:35 am

      She’s funny isn’t she, the chiots just stands around trying to get in the way while we put up the tree. Secretly I think she likes it and wishes she could sleep under it like the cats! We have caught her trying to scoot the tree skirt out to make it her bed.

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  8. Miranda on December 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    We won’t be having a tree this year, which seems utterly ridiculous as Philomath is in a major heart of christmas tree farming country. We are SURROUNDED by christmas tree farms. We could get a beautiful Noble Fir for FIVE or TEN dollars for jimminy’s sakes. But we have no room, so we’ll just stroll by the local museum and look at their big outdoor tree. My mom is going ‘feaux’ this year due to her allergies, so i won’t even get my firry fix when we go home. Oh, and do you remember our Christmas Citrus? My Meyer Lemon usually dons our ornaments, but sadly California took it to the incinerator on our move. Downer.

    I just read this tweet from Earth 911:
    Fact: An acre of growing Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen needs of 18 people –> kinda neat!

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  9. Miranda on December 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    oh, and ps: we have some friends who have a tree farm much as you describe: they have hay rides and interactive tours. :)

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  10. Sierra on December 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Do people really call Christmas trees, “holiday trees”??? Craziness. We’ve had our share of Charlie Brown trees. One in particular made people laugh every time they looked at it. :)

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  11. KimH on December 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I used to take my girls out & chop down a cedar Christmas tree every year when they were growing up.. Never could understand why I broke out as much as I did.. haha.. till I got allergy testing.. Im VERY allergic to cedar..

    We have artificial these days.. No body here wants to go Christmas Tree Hunting and that was the best part of having a real tree in my opinion. ;)

    Actually, no one in my family would even care if there was a tree or any Christmas decorations if I didnt push to get the totes out of the cubby-holes upstairs..

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  12. daisy on December 10, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    What a lovely operation they have there. Too bad it’s going to be a thing of the past. Your ideas sound wonderful!
    We always get a Frazier Fir from NC. Don’t mind the needles at all (though they hardly lose any).

    Reply to daisy's comment

    • Dawn on December 10, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Lovely trees on lovely land. How sad he likely worked his whole life to sustain it, only to sell it to an endeavor that will trash it.

      Merry Christmas and thank you for your blog’s lovely combination of photography and insight.

      Reply to Dawn's comment

  13. nick on December 11, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I love your pictures documenting the process. It really lets us take a view in to your world. Really more than anything for me was the lack of snow :(

    The tree looks great though

    Reply to nick's comment

    • Susy on December 11, 2011 at 1:36 am

      Yes, we don’t have snow yet, except for a few small dustings. Last year it came early and stuck around. It’s different every year here in Ohio, sometimes we get lucky sometimes we don’t.

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  14. bonnie on December 11, 2011 at 1:52 am

    It’s one of the things my husband and I have hardly ever agreed on, but we usually end up with an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperis virginiana) that I (or my son and I) have cut from the yard or woods. They are inferior to the Frasier Fir as a Christmas tree, but I have a sentimental attachment to the cedar since that is what we always used growing up. This year, we have one that my son and I had been shearing and pruning to shape and make it thicker. We dug it up today and put it in a bucket. It looks great for a Red Cedar! We will plant it back in the same spot after Christmas. I don’t know if we got enough of the root system for it to live.
    A couple of years ago, I had an unusual-for-us tree. I cut the top out of a variegated Leyland Cypress that I had rooted quite a few years back. It was huge and gangly. It was wild-looking. What a tree!

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  15. songbirdtiff on December 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’ll admit it, we have a fake tree. We’ve had the same one for nearly our entire marriage. We keep it mostly because it’s easy but the animals are also a concern. I don’t need my precious pooches lifting their leg inside the house OR my crazy kitties climbing a real tree. :) One year we will try a real one, I know I would love the smell.

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  16. Sofie Dittmann on December 11, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Even though there is the Pinetree Barn nearby, we haven’t had a real Christmas tree in years. We used to have a “fake” one, but that fell prey to the general chaos of the last two years. I don’t feel like buying another one, and the way it looks right now we’ll be away for the holidays anyway.

    So, no tree for us. Yours looks cute, tho! :)

    Reply to Sofie Dittmann's comment

  17. ami on December 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    We are all charlie brown here, but we got a tree permit for $5 and drove out to the woods and cut our own.

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  18. Amelia on December 15, 2011 at 3:59 am

    All our Christmas trees are live trees, outside, on 5 hard won acres in Oregon. Since we moved here 6 years ago there has not been an indoor tree. Instead, we spend time each day during the holiday season (and all year) being grateful for the beauty and bounty of nature. We “decorate” the old apple tree near our home with baskets of twinkle lights and big red and green ornaments. Tending our trees, I am filled with the spirit of the season – love and gratitude – and with the scent of pine and cedar, no matter what the calendar month. This is a moment of peace and calm and joy that can not be had with a credit card. Inside, we have candles. And cookies. And friendship. And memories. And faith. And the gift of time together.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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