Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Season: Things that Make My Heart Smile

There are a lot of people out there who sell Christmas Trees during the winter.  I can't pretend to know the reasoning of everyone else, but here's why we do it.  It blesses our hearts.  Here are just a few of many reasons I love it.

Christmas is my favorite season.  It is a time when families and friends come together and spend time together preparing, celebrating and just doing life together.  I love that.  For us, the Christmas tree lot is an opportunity to work together as a family.  Often the kids get to go and spend time working with their daddy, finding hideouts, setting up camps and just having a good time playing in the trees.  We also hand paint our signs together has a family and we enjoy it!  What kid doesn't enjoy getting to paint on a giant wooden "canvas"?  If you looked closely at our signs you would see little finger and foot prints in the paint-- my reminders of sweet memories.  We also get to be there and see other families enjoying this season, picking out their perfect Christmas tree.  The girls absolutely love passing out candy canes to any kid (or grown-up) that comes in to get a tree.

People do incredible things. We get to see that.  We've seen people buy and deliver Christmas Trees to their elderly parents and grandparents.  We've seen people deliver a Christmas Tree to a single parent who wouldn't be able to afford one.  We've seen people order trees for friends to brighten their season because life can be hard.  It is really amazing.  Honestly the kindness that comes out this season makes my day-- every day.  It's not just about the trees though.  It's bigger.  This is the time of year that a lot of people focus on making the world a better place.  Whether they donate a goat to someone across the world, give a toy to a tot, pack a box of gifts to a child/family, give a can of food, donate clothes to foster kids, leave bigger tips, pay for someone's coffee/dinner/groceries; people are more outwardly focused.  It's fun to hear what other people do to bless someone else during this season.

We get to smell and eat at Goldie's Texas Style Barbecue. Okay, so we eat there year round.  But it smells like a holiday meal all day every day at Wood Family Christmas Trees. That is because we are right there by Goldie's and it is yummy.  Last year we had all kinds of trouble with the truck and our generators and the family that owns Goldie's went out of their way to help us out.  Not only do they make fabulous ribs, burgers, baked beans, mac and cheese, potato salad, pulled pork sandwiches, etc. etc. etc. They are just a really nice family and we love getting to be their neighbor for the month!  I could go on and on.  Anyways, that said, if you come get a tree from us, you could stop by and eat at Goldie's.  You wouldn't regret it.  The food is affordable and delicious.

I love the smell of fresh cut Christmas Trees. Growing up, we always had a fresh tree.  There are so many amazing memories tied into the smell of a Christmas tree, that even if it's not Christmas time, that piney smell takes me back and makes me smile.  If a cologne company could exactly match the smell of Christmas and bottle it up...  I'd probably buy it.  We used to go get Christmas Trees with our Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, cousins etc.  We had traditions even about picking a tree growing up and I treasure the memory.  After we all got our trees we'd go to Grandma and Grandpa's house and have dinner all together.  We didn't always have the same meal-- but one of my all time favorites on "Christmas Tree Day" was clam chowder and beer sausage.  The smell of the trees takes me back to my childhood traditions.  We are making memories and creating our own traditions with our family and so now the smell of Christmas includes ours and it makes me smile to think of the memories my kids will have when they are grown.

All around, the Christmas Season is my most treasured season because it is tied into and about everything that is most important to me.  I hope everyone has a great Christmas Season. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree!- Keeping Your Tree Green

Dried out Christmas trees are not only less attractive, they are also a fire hazard!  Keeping your tree fresh is important!  If you buy a tree from a farm, or a neighborhood Christmas tree lot, like Wood Family Christmas Trees, it is important to take a 1 inch (or larger) cut off the bottom of the tree.  At Wood Family Christmas Trees, we do that for you.  If you end up having your tree out of water for a period of time longer than four hours, you should make another cut.  After 4 hours being out of water, the tree will begin to form resin that will stop the tree from absorbing enough water to keep it fresh.

It is recommended to have the tree in a stand that will hold at least a gallon of water.  If your tree stand holds less than a gallon of water (and even if it does hold a gallon), you should keep adding water as the tree absorbs until the absorption slows.  You must continue to add water to the tree stand throughout the Christmas season, making sure that your tree never sits in a dry stand.  If your tree does end up in a dry stand, you can refresh your tree by cutting another inch off the bottom and making sure keep it watered.  This will help the tree to absorb more water again.

Other than water, there are some other simple things that will help you keep a fresher tree longer.
  • Use small lights-- they produce less heat that large lights.
  • Unplug your lights overnight and when you are out of the house.
  • Use led lights- they produce less heat than traditional Christmas lights.
  • Keep your tree watered-- I know I said it, but it's so important!
  • Fewer lights will also produce less heat.  Heat dries the tree out faster.
  • Do NOT use candles or other open flames on or around your Christmas Tree.
A well maintained Christmas Tree will usually last 5 or more weeks.  Most types of Christmas Tree will last at least 5 weeks when well maintained, some will last even longer.  Plan when you buy your tree!  If you like to keep your tree until after the new year, buy your tree closer to Christmas day, to get the most freshness.  If you like to get your tree as soon as possible after Thanksgiving and keep it until Christmas, know that it will not likely last you until the new year!

One of my favorite smells during Christmas time is the fresh Christmas Trees, and fresh baked cookies, and slow roasted meals in the oven!  This is my favorite time of the year!  Sights, smells, family, friends and all of the celebration make it the best season for me!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rain Jackets, Candy Canes and Christmas Trees

We opened up the Christmas Tree lot on Friday.  It was a great, wet, weekend for Christmas Trees in Vancouver, WA!  Friday we got soaked to the bone.  Well, some of us got soaked at the tree lot and others of us got soaked running in and out of stores getting some Christmas shopping done.  I was doing Christmas shopping with two little kiddos.

There were some great deals this weekend-- and considering I was way behind with my shopping (I hadn't done ANY-- and I'm normally nearly done), I was very thankful.  I am not done with my shopping, but I did get a surprising amount done with two kiddos in tow.

Meanwhile back at the tree lot, my husband, oldest kiddo and cousin were busy sending families off with their version of "The Perfect Christmas Tree."  We stopped by the lot with a rain jacket and a couple of boxes of candy canes.  This is truly my favorite time of the year.  I love the sights, the smells, the sounds, the family, the celebration.  I just love the joy people have as they are preparing to decorate their homes.

I don't think I could ever get tired of the smell of fresh cut Christmas Trees.  The day before thanksgiving, my oldest helped unload the trees when they arrived.  When I picked her up she smelled just like Christmas Trees.  I would love that smell all year-- but this time of year it's the best because it brings with it the promise of tradition and family fun.  Have any fun decorating traditions? We do and I'll share a couple.

The day we set our Christmas Tree put up, we sip hot cocoa with candy canes for stir sticks.  I'm a sucker for peppermint and chocolate together.

Each year our kids get a new ornament (some years two-- because I can't decide).  I keep their ornaments in their stockings so each year as we unpack the Christmas boxes, each kid gets their stocking-- filled with ornaments to decorate the tree.  It's great because we don't forget which ornaments belong to each of the kids, and it's almost like unwrapping presents pulling out the ornaments from the stockings and hanging them on the tree.

Another silly tradition?  Our tree is themed.  Generally it's a color scheme-- but one year I plan to decorate the tree with birds/owls.

Last tradition I'll share today-- the kids and I always slowly walk through the Christmas section of the store as soon as it appears there (we're the ones looking at Christmas lights/cards while other people are picking out Halloween costumes).  We choose our favorite ornaments and color schemes.  We talk about which things we might buy at the end of the season-- for next year.  This is how I know what kind of ornament to get for each kiddo too.  It's not really a surprise-- they know they are getting one-- and if they hint well enough, they'll get the one they liked best.

Merry Christmas Season to all!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday and Beyond - Your Christmas Tree

Well, every year I say "I'm never doing that again." And every year on Thanksgiving I get that "I want to finish (well, this year start) my Christmas shopping feeling."  I went midnight shopping with my friend last night.  I didn't have any big ticket items on my list this year so I'm not worried about waiting in line-- just leisurely shopping, in the middle of the night!  HA!  Okay it's not about leisure, it's all about savings!  And friends, I totally scored!  I went to Claire's for stocking stuffers for the girls, and with those savings, wow.  Stockings = Stuffed.

I found some family friendly games at Target for $7 dollars each.  Also at Target, I got my cousin gift squared away.  And I got each of my kiddos a movie for their stocking.  Marley and me was $4 dollars, and it is EXACTLY the movie my oldest asked for!  Woohoo!

Anyways, I'll be strolling into Fred Meyers pretty soon with two of my kiddos to get some socks (YAY SOCKS) and leggings.  And my handsome husband and one kiddo, plus our fabulous cousin will be manning the Christmas Trees!  We've been talking Christmas Trees ALL YEAR (off and on) and we've been preparing for months for this day. Today, we are open!  And that means the beginning of my favorite time of the year.  I can listen to Christmas music ALL I WANT.  I can make candy cane cocoa.  I can sing "Santa Baby" while shopping (okay maybe that's too much).

All this is to say Wood Family Christmas Trees is open for business!  We've have beautiful, fresh cut nobles, and douglas firs.  We are located at:
15640 NE Fourth Plain Blvd
Vancouver, Washington 98682
And if you have any questions, please call! 360-607-1933.
We hope to see your family some time this season!  Merry Christmas Season to all!
Find us on Facebook at: Wood Family Christmas Trees