Every year that we stay home for Xmas and don't travel to Canada, we go to our favorite local spot, Pennings Farmer's Market, and pick out the "perfect" tree. It's usually a 6 foot Balsam Fir, and we also pick out a plain wreath to hang on the front door. I love Balsam trees, the needles are greener and softer and this year our wreath is a very fragrant juniper. Every time I open the front door I get a blast of fresh pine.

I LOVE the experience of picking out a tree. Planning which day we will go with the kids, warming up by the fire when we are there, finding the tree that looks perfect to us but is different and unique from all the rest and tying it onto the roof of the car. Every bit of getting a real tree is so fulfilling to me and it's traditions like these that I know the kids look forward to as well.

The debate about real trees vs. fake trees is ongoing of course, but everything that I have read leans towards real trees being the better choice from an environmental point of view. For me though, it's all about the experience. Pulling a tree out of a bag just isn't the same.

Stay tuned for the continuation, decorating the tree, and some of our favorite ornaments!