I understand that the people in the fake Christmas tree camp have their reasons....more environmentally friendly, less expensive in the long run, the tree is pre-lit, you can get it in pink, no mess. But at the risk of sounding judgemental , I just have to say it. A fake tree looks like a fake tree and a real tree looks like a real tree. (Eeeek, don't be mad at me if you love your fake tree...we all can have our preferences, right ?:)

To me, the messy, happy trip out to the tree farm is one of the rites of the season and our family loves it. This year we hauled along some friends to stomp along and find "the perfect one".

Everyone had on a few warm layers. I learned my lesson the year we took little Ruby out in a light jacket with no mittens and she fell in a puddle and was a brown, howling mess. Boots. Hats. Scarves. Potty breaks. Are you sure you went to the potty...it's going to be a long time before you have a chance again!!

Off to the Red Barn Christmas Tree Farm which we discovered last year....just 15 minutes from our house. It's pretty. It's got a train to ride out to the fields. There are tons of trees to choose from. The trees are great prices (Douglas fir 27.99 any size).

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These were our fine friends who like the color blue (but one of them likes pink apparently).

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Denise jumped in and took a family picture for us...I love this one! Thanks, Denise!

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You have to get there early. I think we were there around 10:15 and walked right up to the train. By the time we left, the lineups were long!

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My boys...Tymen is not so confident in the conductor. Jasper, my two-year-old wears a size 5 hat...big brains, I tell you.

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Down the rows went Malakai, trying to keep up with the big kids. He was richocheting off the trees and was happy as a lark.

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But alas, the tree sizes weren't big enough for these two families, thank you very much. We hitched a ride with a tractor going by to another field.

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Happy, excited kids!

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This might be my favorite of the day. The craziness of six kids, ages almost six and under. Tymen losing his balance. Every few minutes...has someone seen Jeppy? Where are the girls?

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Malakai took off and a mini search was on. Here he was led back to the group.

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Ruby tries to help by hauling the tree to the road.

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Here is Ben, laughing in happy anticipation of his even cutting of the tree trunk. Oh, how he loves this yearly task of cutting a chunk of the trunk off for his wife.

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When the trees were loaded and paid for, the candy canes were doled out, and then we went to Starbucks for some hot chocolate. And this darling boy...do you suppose he ever could have filled his mouth with hot chocolate and sprayed the girls? Not this one. Just look at that perfect innocence on his face.

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I loved the whole messy, noisy, fun morning.