Can you believe that there is less than a month until Christmas? This year has seriously flown by! On twitter there has been a viral tweet going around that said, ‘Hey, you know how long 2018 has been? We had the Olympics this year and everybody forgot about it.’ Isn’t that the truth?!
It seems that everyone has been decorating earlier and earlier for Christmas as the years go by. My husband and I used to be on “Team Decorate After Thanksgiving,” as in the first week of December. This year, we threw that idea out the window. Our TV has been permanently on the Hallmark Channel, since about the second week of November.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without traditions. I’m hear to tell you about one of our favorite traditions, and I hope I can inspire you to create your own.
My husband and I buy a real tree for Christmas, but that alway wasn’t the case. Growing up, I always had an artificial tree, while my husband always had a real tree. When we met and started dating in 2009, we began the tradition of getting a real tree of our own. However, it wasn’t until 2014, that we began the tradition of actually going to a Christmas tree farm and chopping one down ourselves, instead of just buying a real one at Lowe’s or Walmart.
We go to Barker’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Barker’s Christmas Tree Farm began in 1995 as a way to help pay for their children’s college education. They opened officially in 2002 and have been bringing joy to Lexington ever since. It takes 7 to 8 years for a tree to mature. They have White Pine, Canaan Firs, Norway Spruce, Concolor Fir and Douglas Firs in the field that you can cut down yourself.
In the past, we always got our tree the first weekend of December and it was never an issue. We would go purchase our tree the morning after St. Barb’s Military Ball. However, since 2016, people have been decorating much earlier and have also been opting for a real tree. That is so wonderful, because in my opinion, there is nothing that can top a real tree. It also creates a dilemma – an extreme Christmas tree shortage! While there are plenty of places that sell real trees, there are only so many Christmas tree farms in the city. Lexington has a huge Shop Local and Kentucky Proud movement and people love supporting local businesses. With that being said, I’m sure the Christmas tree farms would love to sell more trees, but they can only allow ‘x’ number of trees to be sold each year, because they have to plan for the future and have their supply for the upcoming years.
In 2016, on December 2nd, Barker’s Christmas Tree Farm sold out and closed for the season, even though they had only been open for one weekend! So, we went to go to another tree farm, because we didn’t want to lose our chance of getting one locally. The following day, they were sold out for the season as well! Well, if you thought that was crazy, you haven’t heard anything yet. 2017 was even crazier! Barker’s Christmas Tree Farm (the place we go) even set a record for the most trees they’ve sold, in the shortest amount of time!
That particular year, they decided to do a countdown, so people would know how many trees are left at the end of each day. They opened on November 24, which was the day after Thanksgiving, and closed that following Sunday at around 3pm, because they sold out! Barker’s started with 1000 trees on November 24 and at closing they had 648 trees left (They were only open from 3:30pm to 6pm). They reopened the next day from 9am to 6pm and had 351 trees left at closing. Barker’s opened the following day at 12pm and announced they were sold out and closed for the season at 3pm.
Because of the countdown they posted, we knew we couldn’t wait, so we went that Saturday afternoon to get ours. Our tree last year was almost twelve feet tall! The tree was so tall that we could’t reach the top even with a step ladder!
As you can see, picking out a Christmas tree can get a little crazy, so it’s best to go as soon as possible! That’s one of the reasons we decided for 2018 to go the day they opened!
After Thanksgiving this year, we went out and did a little shopping (We’ve been Black Friday shopping for the past five years!) Just a little PSA: Thanksgiving is the new Black Friday. After we ate Thanksgiving, we went to ULTA and waited in line for an hour, since the line wrapped around the entire store. My husband got in line while I shopped – that’s how long the line was! Kohls’s was even crazier, so we left and went back out on Black Friday. Black Friday wasn’t crazy at all! We just grabbed what we wanted and never had to wait in any line! We didn’t want to stay out shopping too long, because we wanted to get our Christmas tree!
While I was scrolling through facebook, Barker’s posted a video on their page and showed how many cars were waiting before they even opened (There were dozens and dozens!). When we finally arrived, there were probably at least 20 to 30 cars in front of us! We waited about 30-40 minutes, but it was well worth it as always! Those that know me, know that I love the opportunity of shopping local! (As of 1:30pm on November 25, they were sold out for the 2018 season!)
Friday was a beautiful day! It was a little chilly, but it was sunny. This was actually the busiest that we’ve seen it! We opted for a smaller tree this year (We couldn’t get another 11 or 12 foot tree – sad face), because we rearranged our living room, but it is still the perfect little tree!
One of the coolest things about Barker’s Christmas Tree Farm, and what I believe makes them stand out, is that every year they take a picture of each family with their Christmas tree around a dated sign and reindeer. When you go back to get another tree from them the following year, you’ll be able to get your picture off the picture wall. This year, I was able to pick up our picture from last year! It’s always such a nice surprise! I can’t wait to see 2018’s picture when we cut down our tree in 2019!
Do you get a real or fake Christmas tree?