Your favorite Christmas tree story

Back in our lean days (young, 3 children) we didn’t buy our Christmas trees. I went to the woods and harvested one.
We lived in Houston and pine trees were plentiful.
I brought home the best I could find and collected extra branches to fill the gaps.
It was perfect as far as the kids were concerned.
The fun started when the tree and it’s inhabitants warmed up.
We had a room full of tiny praying mantis.


I have harvested a lot of pinon pine trees over the years in the local mountains behind the house. The area is overstocked with a dense canopy and needs thinning. One year I brought home a Utah juniper, the “other native tree” in the area. It was the most forlorn looking tree I have ever seen. There was no way to make it look like much.
My girl wrote a poem about it “A Real Nevada Tree.”

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I’ve never bought a Christmas tree. We always went “tree shopping” in the forest . Granted, we usually came home with an odd shaped Charlie Brown type tree, but they were always fresh and smelled wonderful. No critters, but sometimes an empty nest.

Once we were about to cut a tree when we heard a gunshot. Skedaddled at full speed back to the car only to later learn it was a guy rabbit hunting down the road.

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an old friend of mine used to do all sorts of creative things with holiday decorations. one year he decided at the last minute to rig a turning tree. his family impatiently decorated the the tree as he designed and built the mechanics with an old gear motor and pulleys. they were all quite astounded when they flipped the switch and the tree spun so fast it flung the ornaments all over the room! his kids needled him about that every christmas for decades.


For several years when I was in high school I helped my grandmother decorate her tree when she and my grandfather couldn’t do it without help. My grandmother was the queen of Christmas- she loved it and she did Christmas BIG. Their house had high ceilings and they always got the biggest tree that would fit. One year they had gotten a new tree stand, and when we were almost finished the whole thing slowly fell over right in front of us! We quickly grabbed it and righted it, fortunately only lost a couple of ornaments. We ended up having to decorate the whole back of the tree to balance the weight, and tied it to the window latch for extra safety. We laughed for years about that!

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In the 70s I was stationed in Hawaii. Things would periodically be in short supply for one reason or the other. One year it was Christmas Trees. If you found a tree it might be from the back of a pop up truck selling wrapped up trees from the back of a container. Give money take tree sight unseen.

We decorated a potted palm tree.

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My parents raised nine children, with my oldest sister married and on her way by time the youngest (twins) arrived. The family home was packed and we always had a real tree and plenty of activity around Christmas. At the end of Christmas day we always gathered at my oldest sister’s house, because she had the biggest family room and a fireplace on nine acres in “the country”.

Her Christmas tree was always the biggest tree she could find, and she’d just cut 10 feet off the top so it would fit in the room. What a grand tree!

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Living in northern PA there are loads of Christmas tree farms and back when I was young and strong we would go to a cut your own tree place and the guy didn’t care if you cut it or dug it out. None of the trees were root pruned so it was a lot of digging and making a ball with burlap wasn’t easy or dragging the tree on a snow sled saucer getting it in the trunk of the car or digging a hole in the yard to plant a 6’ tree. But somehow I managed to do it for around 10 years in a row. I go past that house today and see all the towering blue spruce trees still growing and I’m amazed I did all that.

My nephew came with me once and he saw a pile of stumps that had been cut for Christmas trees the guy had dug out with a backhoe and most had one row of limbs around the bottom some a couple rows. He asked the guy if he could have some of them and was told to help himself. I told him he was nuts, but he took about a dozen in his pickup and in the spring he planted the stumps. I was astonished they all grew and over 10 years or so each tree had a few trunks and now 30 years later they are nice 50’ tall trees that you would never know were stumps.

Now my plastic tree lives in the attic and it seems like a bigger job bringing it down the stairs than digging those trees almost 50 years ago.
:evergreen_tree: :christmas_tree: :evergreen_tree:


My wife’s and I first Christmas, we went to a tree farm, searched for and cut a ‘perfect tree’. Brought it back to our apartment, and set it up in front of the big window in the living room. It was also in front of the baseboard heat. A few days later the needles started falling off in a big way. walking across the floor meant an avalanche o needles. Two days before christmas we decided to get a new tree. Out went the old, I had to use a shovel to clean up the needles. Then we went to a local place to buy a new one. The prices were higher than we could spend, poor youngsters that we were. The proprietor just said, make an offer, they go in the garbage tomorrow. Made an offer at half of what it was marked, and took it home. Set it up away from the window and heat. we’ve been cutting our own tree for 35+years.


I really enjoy Christmas decorations. But we decided that we just were not going to spend any money on a Christmas tree one Christmas about 10 years ago. My parents from South Dakota made an unexpected call December 23rd, said they were catching a flight into Wilmington, NC to spend Christmas with us, and asked if we could pick them up from the airport. On the way back from the airport, the radio station announced that some business was leaving all of their leftover Christmas trees along the side of the road next to the Salvation Army downtown. We were driving near the area, so drove past, and there were a bunch of beautiful trees there, and we twined one to the roof rack and brought it home.
I remember having seen a plethora of those reddish calico scallop shells on the ocean beach. So the next morning, we paddled out to the barrier island and gathered a good bunch of the prettiest we could find. We brought them home, used a hot glue gun and some string, had found some lights from the past year, and decorated it with the lights and nothing added but those scallop shells on Christmas Eve. I think we were all taken aback by the results. It was exquisite. The whole experience was one of unexpected and joyful surprises, and everything just seemed to work out perfectly.


I live along the southern NC coast of Wilmington. Growing up at the beach we always cut our Christmas tree off one of the barrier or Cape Fear river islands. This particular morning I took my young daughter in our skiff to the river since many of the trees along the barrier islands had already been harvested once. It was a warm morning and mixed with the cool water of fall made for a surprisingly heavy fog. We were up the river about 3 miles from our ramp when I looked south to see the fog line moving quickly towards us. I tried to outrun the fog to no avail and we were forced to beach the skiff on one of the smaller islands. We spent the next two hours waiting for the fog to clear. The Intracoastal Waterway is heavily traveled this time of year and we could hear the fog horns continuously as the boats came to halt and announced their presence. We found our tree while we were on the island and waited. Once the fog cleared we could see all the boats that were bunched up and waiting for the fog to lift so they could proceed on their journey south for the winter. It was surreal that morning as the fog was much thicker than we typically have. It’s one of those memories that we always laugh about at Christmas. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or seasons greetings to you all.

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My father’s dad died in April 1930 at the beginning of the great depression. That first Christmas after his death, his mother bought what she could afford. It was a pretty sad tree. The city of Lancaster, PA had an ordnance that tree vendors had to have their unsold trees off the sidewalks by 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve. The town dump was near their home and one of his brothers paid a visit there on Christmas Eve and got a really nice tree. They de-decorated the original tree and put up the new one.

In North Idaho Latah county to be specific there were a lot pine trees in a “remote” part of the county where people would go get tree’s for free.

Ends up the landowner got tired of it so he sprayed all the trees with Coyote urine…no idea how one gets 200 gallons of coyote urine but hey it’s Idaho.

When you bring a tree in your home from a sub zero temperature to a balmy 68. The Urine smell pretty much fills your entire home. So you wake up the next morning coughing and gagging.

Figured out where the guy lived went to his house and told home spraying trees with coyote urine is the funniest thing I’ve ever hear of. He started laughing and invited me in for coffee.

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Frist Christmas after moving to SC from FL, I thought it would be fun to take our 6- and 4-year-olds out to harvest a tree. I had spent a good deal of time prior scouting for hunting season and found a spot with numerous suitable Southern Red Cedars. We left our 10-month-old with my wife’s mother and drove to the woods in our pickup. The 2 chaps were excited to be on an adventure. It was over a quarter mile to the spot with the trees. We looked at several before deciding on the one. I cut it off at ground level, and we headed back to the truck.

Well, the excitement of finding the tree was now replaced with the walk back. The walk wasn’t on a path, but through the woods which isn’t the easiest walking. Going in the novelty and excitement made it fun but coming out they became tired and fussy. I told them I had to drag the tree and was hot and tired too. Yet I didn’t dwell on it or fuss. I was thinking about how much fun we would have with the tree when we set it up. We took a break and talked about what we would do with our tree. That tree is my favorite, next to the pine my Dad took me and my sister at 3 and 5 out to the woods and cut for a south FL Christmas.

Before kids we lived in Colorado Springs. We were allowed to drive into the national forest to get a real Christmas tree. The two track we were on was packed snow but our VW Super Beetle handled it like a Jeep.
For someone raised in the South it was a real treat.