It is our first Christmas in Spokane, Washington after moving from the LA, CA area. We are very excited. There is snow on the ground and it is really feeling like Christmas time. This week we decided to go get our Christmas tree and I wanted to tell you about our experience.
Let’s start by backing up to every other year and what the tradition has been: Every year for the past several years we have gone to Nancy’s Christmas tree lot, in Santa Clarita, CA and bought a Noble Fir tree. We loved going there because it was locally owned and we love to support local business whenever possible. This particular lot also had a place in the lot to cut fresh trees as well. Although we never cut a tree because they only planted Douglas Fir which are more like a bush than a tree, so you really couldn’t successfully hang ornaments on them, especially large ones. The only other kind available at Nancy’s were Nobles which are beautiful and smell wonderful. Thus, the Noble was our annual pick!
The experience of going to this lot was always nice but there was nothing overwhelmingly special about it since it was on a very busy highway/street and was near the freeway with its noisy traffic as well as the loud hum of the electrical towers that were overhead. However, it was close to the house and suited our needs. It was much better than going to those pop- up tree lots that try to gouge you because tis the season! That is a whole other blog…. 🙂
So, let’s flash forward to the Christmas tree experience in Washington 2015.
Knowing that the pop-up Christmas tree lots are not for us we did some investigation online about where we could buy a tree and support local business. After searching the immediate surrounding area we found our place!
My husband, my mother-in-law and myself bundled up, put on our Santa hats, loaded the dog in the truck and we drove 20 min up the mountain to Holly Lane Tree Farm. On the way up we saw the most amazing views of the snow on the mountains and all the beautiful evergreens!
When we arrived at Holly Lane Farm we were greeted by the owner Mike and his Bernese Mountain dog, Hank. Mike is a jolly fella and you could tell he loved his farm and was happy to have us choose their farm for our tree. He explained to us that he had 11 different varieties of trees on the farm and how we would go about finding our perfect tree, cutting it and getting it brought up to be prepped for us to take home. Then, just like family, he invited us back up to their Christmas shop to have a cup of homemade hot chocolate or hot tea. He told us to enjoy and sit by the fire pit to warm up while their staff would bring up the tree we cut.
Mike handed us our saw, our tarp and our measuring pole, offered us bottles of water for our walk/hike and we began on the mountain to hunt out the perfect tree.
I have never seen so many varietes and the views we could see from this mountain top farm were beautiful!
We scoured the farm. Around the pond we finally found our perfect Blue Spruce tree! It is 9 ft tall and not too full, as to not take up our whole living room. It is wonderful! There were many others that were more fragrant or were taller but this one was the perfect one for our large ornaments and the smaller corner of our living room. Now the only downside to this beauty was its scent was more subtle, but I knew how to fix that little issue – We will talk later on that pesky problem….. 🙂
We did just as we were instructed. My husband Dee lay down the tarp provided and he used the saw to begin the cutting of our first Christmas tree in Washington! The tree was so fresh he cut thru it in an instant. We took the next step of putting our provided tag on it and laying it down in the nearest walkway. The Holly Lane Farm staff would be by to pick it up in their truck and haul it up to the prep and shop area by the parking lot.
We took a moment to take in the beautiful views one last time and then began the beautiful hike back to the shop area for our hot chocolate and to warm up by the firepit!
When we arrived back at the shop area there was a roaring fire in the pit which was in a comfortable patio area. On the patio there were also many beautiful handmade wreaths and bundles of boughs that were created by the other owner of this wonderful farm, Paula, Mike’s wife. They both take pride in not only planting and growing the trees on their farm but in all of the wonderful things they make there as well.
We went into the quaint Christmas shop where Paula had hot chocolate waiting for us. We enjoyed her company, information, merchandise and her awesome hot chocolate. Here is the recipe if you would like to try it:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.
Fill your mug half full with the dry mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, it keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk!
After leaving the shop, with more than the tree (more like the tree, wreath, boughs and our annual Santa ornament) we went out to the firepit area and spent some time enjoying the sights, smells and people at the farm. They loaded up our truck with our goodies and we proceeded back down the hill.
Once we arrived home and got our “mother load” of goodies inside, I spent the next 2 hours getting the tree decorated and listened to Christmas music while my sweet hubby took a Christmas nap. Well deserved after all that cutting of the tree, wouldn’t you say? 😉
Here is what transpired from our wonderful Christmas Tree Experience:
We are enjoying every moment of it and the wonderful day’s memories that came along with it!
Now, remember earlier that the one thing about this glorious tree was that it wasn’t as fragrant as I would have liked it to have been? The solution is very simple when you are a person who owns a bath and body company – Candles and Room Spray!!
If you have the same issue I had or you have a fake Christmas tree but still want that glorious Christmas tree fragrance all season long, you don’t have to own a bath and body company, you can just purchase these from us:
I hope you and your family have your own wonderful Christmas tree traditions and if you don’t, then there is no time like the present to start one or invent a new one!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me and Soap Orchard.