Back in October, as Christmas thoughts began to come into view of the kiddos, my son asked if we could have a real tree. He didn't understand why we didn't go out and cut our tree down. "Why do we have ours in a box?" was the question of the moment, and honestly I missed the real tree experience too. Now don't get me wrong, in my 11 year marriage with my hubby, we have had real trees, but it was always from a farm, and we hadn't had one in probably 8 years. So we decided as a family we would bring in a real tree for this Christmas.

At first I began the usual looking up tree farms and even stopped off at a farm to take a look one day back in November. But honestly, I was having a VERY hard time wanting to shell our $75 for a tree that we would be cutting down ourselves, etc. And the ones at the store, have been cut for so long, they would die before we had a chance to truly enjoy it. So in the end, after finding out a "wild" tree licence was free in our area, we picked a day to head out into the wild west-coast forest to pick our tree.

A little backstory: I grew up getting trees this way for Christmas. We never had a fake tree and my mom was very particular about the tree we brought home. And every year we would have a wonderful fresh cut tree in our living room full of white lights and our family's ornament collection. (Our tradition from her was each year getting a new ornament for the tree. She would sharpie the year and our initials on it. And today I have a beautiful collection thanks to her thoughtfulness. And this is now a tradition I have carried on for my kids and husband.)

My husband on the other hand always went to tree farms, grocery stores or had fake tree while growing up. And so going out and foraging for our own tree in the wilderness was a whole new world for him too! And honestly it made the adventure even more fun.

So we headed out with our hot chocolate and some simple goodies in tow. (Remembering the saw, rope, tape measure and our licence.) All bundled up, we thought we were going to avoid the rain, but we ended up with a light drizzle on us as we began our little trek into the bush.

We wandered a while looking at tree after tree. Measuring. Answering a million questions from our son in the process. Finally after a bit of wandering in the light drizzle my husband and daughter found a perfect tree. Full enough and nice strong branches. Of course not appearing as big outside as it did once it was in our family room, haha! But it measured just right. Can you tell my hubby was very excited to use the saw hahaha!

Thankfully this tree wasn't too heavy and easily carried out to the car. Each kid and myself brought out the boughs from the bottom of the tree that weren't needed, as we could decorate with them at home, and we made it back to the car in record time.

At this point the rain had actually stopped, allowing us to tie the tree to the car roof a bit easier. We thoroughly enjoyed out hot chocolate after our wander through the rain.  And honestly, we had a really wonderful time. These are the moments memories are made of, not to sound too corny.

After arriving home my amazing husband attached the base outside  and brought the tree in. We had to trim a little off the top, but other than that, it was perfect!

They were so proud of our tree!

24 hours! That's a long time to a kid, but it managed to pass quickly and when the kids came home from school the next day, the lights were on and it was time to decorate the tree.

I think it may be my favourite tree that we have ever had.

From my family to yours, I hope that all of you have a Christmas filled with the true Joy of the season. That you will make time for moments of rest and laughter in the chaotic days and that you will be able to look back and have lived this holiday to it's fullest. Not in the way I used to think that meant, but it the slower calm, the Truth of the season. I pray that you will find Christ in this Christmas, the Gift we were given. The most beautiful present ever unwrapped.

So hug your loved ones and enjoy, for this is the most Wondrous time of the year.