Thanksgiving at Kyle was no stress this year; Erin and AJ did all the planning and cooking. All we had to do was eat and watch football. What a deal! We also took in the newest Hunger Games installment, Mockingjay, Part 1. Friday, however, was a big day for one of this family’s Christmas traditions, a trip to the Christmas Tree farm in Elgin to pick out and cut a fresh tree. I tagged along, not having experienced this particular rite of the holidays myself. Let me tell you, these tree people have it down to a science. And it is a popular family outing worth the time and money. Elgin is about an hour from Kyle and not a bad drive on the toll road. it was fun counting the vehicles we met that were already loaded with their treasure and on their way home.I think we quit counting around 17. IMG_4139 When we arrived, the parking lot was full and families were milling around getting reading to pick their tree. Before getting into the actual tree selection, we admired the animals on display. It seemed like a random selection, but they were all happy as could be in the same pen: a duck, pot-bellied pig, goats,a  llama, a donkey, and a chicken. In another area we found three pretty white rabbits. The tree farm also had two mazes and playground equipment for the kids to enjoy as well. A store and a couple of booths also gave Mom a place to do some shopping as well. IMG_4136 AJ was given a tag to put on the chosen tree, and then the wagon and trailer rolled around to take us into the field of the trees.
IMG_4140 Rows and rows of neatly manicured trees. IMG_4161
We pulled around to the back of the field, and the search was on for just the right tree. Which didn’t take long to find. IMG_4145
Customers are given a saw when they disembark from the wagon so they can fell their own tree, which AJ did after the final selection was made.
Then the tree is loaded onto the trailer and taken back to headquarters. The tree is placed on a vibrating table surface for maybe 30 seconds for all the dead needles to shake loose and fall off the tree. IMG_4164
The tree gets wrapped, measured, has a hole drilled in the trunk for better water absorption, paid for, and happily taken home, IMG_4210
where it patiently waited for its lights and ornaments and presents underneath to come. Alas, I did not think to take a picture after all the lights and ornaments went on, but you can see that it will be a lovely tree for the family to enjoy during the whole holiday season. Merry Christmas and God bless us everyone!