Holiday tradition has become increasingly important to us over the last few years. I think it's really important to establish our own way of doing Christmas as a family of three: to be intentional about how we spend each Christmas and make a point of doing things that are unique and memorable for us. One of the traditions we began just after getting married was to go on a Christmas tree hunt. We'd get up early, make coffee, bundle up, and pack ourselves and a good saw into the truck and head to the mountains. It's become one of my favourite things about Christmas. I look forward to it and plan it well before December gets crazy. Our tradition has since evolved and each year we have included good friends in our hunt for the perfect tree. This year our friends met us in Bragg Creek for coffee and we then headed into Kananaskis. We drove up a dirt road into the mountains and happened upon a gorgeous trail with stunning views. This year was unlike others in that there wasn't any snow! In years past at times it's been so cold and snowy the day of our hunt that we have literally had to pull over to the side of the road, quickly choose the first tree we come upon to cut down, race back to the truck and by then our fingers and toes were numb. Although there's something beautiful about the idea of snow while we are cutting our Christmas tree down, I didn't mind the sun shining through the clouds, the clear views, and feeling in my extremities.
As we hiked the trail we came to a clearing with the most gorgeous mountain views. We took photos, we let the dogs enjoy the wide open space, and of course, we kept our eyes open for the perfect tree. Eventually we wandered further down the trail and in the midst of all the other trees stood the perfect Christmas tree. It was meant to be ours.
James is the most efficient tree chopper in all the land. Not kidding. It took less than a minute for him to have cut the tree down. Since we'd hiked down quite a way from the vehicle James had to carry our tree all the way back up the trail. Anyone else may have dragged it. Not James. He carried it like this, over his head, all the way back to the truck.
We came home to a big pot of chili on the stove, some chilled bubbly, and Christmas records. We spent the afternoon eating and drinking, decorating the tree, and spending quality time with good humans. It was the perfect way to start off our Christmas traditions!
If are in Calgary you can go here for a tree-cutting permit and a map of areas to cut your tree down in. Be sure to check your local area's laws and regulations before planning your own tree hunt.