Oh Christmas Tree

Each year we visit our friends at Howling Pines Farm to hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. It’s an event the kids ask us about for weeks in anticipation of what, to them, is the official arrival of “Christmas Time”. This past Sunday we made our annual trip. The short drive takes us out of suburbia just into the country. While it’s only 10 miles from our home, it feels like a short, relaxing vacation from our cares. It offers a step back from our holiday to-do lists to a little simpler life. Even if it’s only for an hour, it’s a welcome escape.

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I can’t remember a year when it has been quite so warm, but you won’t find any complaining here. After the brutally cold winters we’ve experienced here in Cleveland the past two years, this year I am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas.

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It’s a quiet, picturesque spot owned by a friend with whom my husband grew up. We attended their wedding and now our daughters will dance together as snowflakes in The Nutcracker next week. On this day, they were like little ballerinas dancing through the rows of trees.

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Ms Dakota always wants some love. After all, she is the farm’s namesake and the inspiration for the logo, so it would be awfully rude not to greet her.

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And of course, we always need to get a photo with the kids by the tree. Not OUR tree, but A tree. I think we had to bribe them with candy or something.

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I just couldn’t help but capture some other shots of this adorable place to look back on when I want to reminisce about our peaceful hour-long getaway.

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This “Christmas Time” I am striving to not get caught up in my holiday to-do list and lose sight of the reason for the season. In a blink, we’ll be taking down all the decorations we so carefully put up and we’ll be tossing out the paper from the packages we so lovingly wrapped. I don’t want to sigh with relief when the holidays are over. This year I am living in the moment and clinging to those that make it special, like our annual trip to pick out our Christmas tree. I only get to live it once, so I’d better enjoy it instead of just trying to get through it. Before long, we’ll be saying, “remember when” and “the kids were so little” and I’ll wish I could relive these magical days.

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