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Charlie Brown or Rich’s Great Tree?

I love a real Christmas tree. When I was a kid we’d go to Pikes Nursery in Lilburn and roam up and down every aisle until we found the perfect tree. Back then, there weren’t so many Home Depots and Lowe’s locations, so heading to Pikes was special. As I grew older and started my own family, when Christmas season arrived, I’d always head to Pikes out of tradition and find the biggest tree I could find. 

They had big ones and small ones. Everything between a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and some that looked as big as the Rich’s tree we used to see in downtown Atlanta.

A couple of years I’d pick out a tree so tall, I had to use some creative ingenuity just to hold it up! Picture a screw in the ceiling and the top of the tree tied to it with string. As the years went by, I got wiser. I decided a nice, smaller tree would be just as awesome.  I discovered there was merit in getting it through the door with minimal exhaustion.  

My Grandaddy had a well-refined method. Every year when Christmas was over, he simply left all the ornaments, lights and foil icicles in place. He picked up the entire tree, and carried it up to the attic for storage. The next year, he brought it down, plugged it in and was set to go!

To each his own when it comes to tradition. 

As my own kids grew, so did my tree rituals and traditions. We ultimately ventured out to do the “Choose and Cut Your Own” experience. Hot chocolate. Saws. Santa. You can’t beat that.

Nowadays we’re a multi-tree family. We sport a late model artificial with built-in lights. But we also still kick it old school with a real one too. I like the smell. The sap. Making sure it’s watered and watching it to see if the needles will last through the season.

This year, if you want to venture out and cut your own tree, then make it an event. Take off across Georgia back roads and make the journey part of the fun.

Check out a list of places to go on this cool map.

Compliments of the Georgia Christmas Tree Associations. Fa la la! Go big or go home!