This year we decided to cut down our own Christmas tree — it was so much fun — and now it will be an annual tradition.
The process was very simple. We purchased a National Forest tree tag for five dollars at Powder House Ski & Snowboard in Bend. My husband, Mitchell, purchased a bow saw to cut the tree, then all that was left was to decide where to go. Knowing we’d venture to the Deschutes National Forest, we were split between the Cascade Lakes Highway area and around the town of Sisters. Mitchell knew one thing: he wanted to gain as much elevation as possible.
He was on a hunt for the elusive and iconic Douglas fir.
We went with our intuition and drove just outside of Sisters. Cars and trucks with trees in tow kept passing by, so we knew we had found a good spot.
I read from others to be prepared to walk and spend more time than you expect — and it was true. We made a day of it. I think the hardest part was committing to a tree. Mitchell and I would constantly spy beautiful triangle-looking pines, only to discover the left side was bare. We were not convinced we’d find the right tree.
“What if we go to the other side of the hill?”
We both realized we had commitment issues. If it wasn’t for our two-year-old daughter, Meadow, who was getting tired, sleepy and hungry, the search would’ve never ended. Finding a tree became very urgent, very fast.
All the sudden we both saw the perfect 6- to 7-foot-tall bushy triangle Christmas tree in front of us.
Mitchell grabbed the saw and carefully cut the tree down as Meadow and I screamed together, “TIMBERRRR!”
Success! We cut down our own Christmas tree. And it was awesome.
Meadow also found a mini Christmas tree and helped daddy carry it.
Afterwards we celebrated with a big bowl of chili in the parking lot — that’s another tip, bring food and hot beverages for a job well done.
Overall, it was a great bonding experience. We even got extra cuddles for finding the perfect Christmas tree. Happy holidays, everyone!
Editor’s note: Oregon is blessed with an abundance of Douglas fir, white fir and incense cedar trees, and Christmas tree cutting is a holiday tradition for many families. Please follow the U.S. Forest Service’s guidelines and restrictions to ensure this tradition continues for generations to come.