By Madison Fisler Lewis
Nov. 26, 2014. In the High Country, there is no more time-honored Christmas tradition than decorating the Christmas tree with family and friends after the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, or even before!
It’s an annual tradition for many families to “choose and cut” their Christmas tree together before heading home to trim it, and there are many local farms that make that family activity as easy and painless as possible.
If you have already participated in this time-honored tradition, you know exactly what to expect: chilly weather, excited children, beautiful trees standing tall just ready to be decorated by the whole family. It is an adventure than many locals and visitors alike have participated in for generations.
And if you have never experienced the joys of choose-and-cut traditions, instead of making a chore of dragging home a pre-cut tree this year, grab the family and your coats and head out to a local farm. It will not only create lasting memories for you and your loved ones for years to come, but the practice also helps to support the local Christmas tree farmers in the High Country area.
For those who are embarking on a choose-and-cut adventure for the first time, be sure to follow these tips to ensure the best experience possible.
- First and foremost, be sure to call the Christmas tree farm of your choice before embarking out to choose your tree. The High Country weather is unpredictable, and you will want to make sure that inclement weather or other factors haven’t forced the farm to close or shut down early for the day.
- Measure the space in your home where the tree will stand before you head out to the farm. Knowing how tall your space is before you choose your tree will eliminate tree size-related mishaps later and will keep the guesswork out of finding the perfect Christmas tree for your home. Not measuring beforehand is a mistake that this reporter has made before – luckily, coming home with a tree that is a foot too tall is a mistake that you will only make once – oops!
- Be sure to confirm the accepted methods of payment at the farm of your choice. While many farms accept credit cards and checks, others may only accept cash for payment. To be safe, it is always a good idea to double check before you head out.
- When you head out to a farm, make sure that you dress appropriately. With all of the mountains and valleys, the weather conditions change drastically by the hour, and by location. Also, keep in mind that you will be visiting a farm, so you should wear sturdy, close-toed shoes and a warm coat.
- Most importantly, have fun with it! This is an experience, not a quick shopping trip, so be sure to allow yourself and your loved ones time to enjoy the scenery and the excitement of choosing a tree. After all, this is one of the first Christmas-related activities of the year with many more to come.
Many farms don’t stop at just choose and cut Christmas trees. At most farms, you can make an entire day-long outing for the entire family with hay rides, wreaths, beverages and more for everyone to enjoy. At still others, you can purchase locally-crafted and handmade gifts for those last few on your list or spend an hour or two after you pick out your tree enjoying the sights and wandering through the farm.
For a directory of Watauga County Christmas tree farms, click here.
For a directory of Ashe County Christmas tree farms, click here.
For a directory of Avery County Christmas tree farms, click here.