Ever since I can remember – and a little bit before – my family has had a tradition of getting our Christmas tree with close family friends. Both newlywed couples, they were eager to start their new lives together. That Christmas, in 1981, they started a tradition of hunting down and cutting the perfect tree together, and not one Christmas has been missed. Through babies, moves, teenage resistance to traditions, college years and now new additions to the families, this is THE Christmas tradition that has gone on unwavering.
Why do we continue to cut our own tree? It’s the smell of fresh cut fir in the living room, cutting the tree to match the perfect height, making a wreath of all the extra branches removed in order to fit that perfect height, the hunt and, above all, the REAL friendship. The day starts when we gather for treats and hot cocoa before loading into trucks to slay our trees. In a two hour flash we have stalked our prey and bagged our perfect Christmas centerpiece. Back to the house we go for the main course and more merriment. We’ll often prepare a chili or stew using ingredients raised by our families and Tillamook Cheese, butter and sour cream. In the downtime before the chili is finished we enjoy Tillamook Cheese and crackers. Last year introduced a new appetizer: fresh baguette, home-canned Albacore tuna, tomato and Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheese. Prepared with a light virgin olive oil glaze, for that perfect shine and crunch, and broiled briefly, these morsels were a hit!
I obviously love my real Christmas trees, but understand that there may also be situations where a fake tree makes sense. Arizona/Southern California – it’s just too darn hot and expensive for a real tree. People with allergies, I feel supremely bad for you, but understand that you need your fake tree to sleep well at night without fear of anaphylactic shock. For the fiscally conscious individual, the cost of a real tree can be a bit daunting when compared with a fake tree, if you take into account that you will likely keep using the same fake tree for at least 5 years. At $30/year for a real tree, you only need about 3 years to equal the same cost of a fake tree.
Even with the seemingly positive attributes a fake tree has to offer, as for me and my house, we will spend the extra money for authenticity. We prefer the quality of real friends, scratch made chili, home prepared tuna melts and things like REAL Tillamook Cheese! We love everything about these real items that are so full of life and strangely, the spirit or togetherness and happiness. They have a character that is irreplaceable. So this holiday season I wish you and yours nothing but REAL happiness and joy – regardless of your choice of tree!
~ Matt of the Tillamook Team