For as long as I can remember, part of our family’s Christmas traditions have involved Whispering Pines Christmas Tree Farm. Somewhere in middle to late October, we’d all load up, turn on Christmas music, and make the drive out to the tree farm to “tag” our tree. You do this, of course, because if you don’t lay claim to a tree early in the season, all the good ones will be picked over by the time you’re ready to put a tree up in your house. We would then return to the tree farm around the first week of December to find our previously tagged tree, cut it down, and bring it home. This tradition has been something that I’ve always loved and was really excited to start with Noah when he was born. He didn’t really experience much of it his first year, being that he was only about 2 months old at the time, and it was blisteringly cold outside that day:
By the time Noah’s second Christmas rolled around he was just over a year old and able to enjoy it a little more. It was still pretty cold last year, but nearly as cold as the first year:
This year, however, his enjoyment of the experience moved to an entirely new level. We picked out our tree in October, and from that day forward Noah would talk about how he was going to go back to the Christmas tree farm and help Daddy cut down the tree. He’d even bring his own saw (don’t worry, it’s all plastic) to help:
Whispering Pines operates a pretty large farm, so we brought along a wagon to help as we made our way to the tree we had tagged several weeks earlier (tip: make good notes for yourself as to where your tree is…or you’ll be there a while).
Once we found our tree, Jake and Noah got to work cutting it down. If you ask Noah, HE cut it down, and Daddy just helped a little. :)
The first two years, the Daddy-and-Noah-on-the-bed-of-the-truck picture just happened by accident. This year, however, since we already had the first two, I insisted we get another. I suspect this particular photo will probably happen every year now (with an extra addition from here on out).
I have to mention that the founder of Whispering Pines recently passed away. He and his wife were part of what made us make the drive all the way out there, despite other tree farms being closer to where we live. They loved what they did, and they loved the children and families that came through every year. It’s more than just field full of trees out there. It FEELS like Christmas…even in October. Some of it has to do with the way they ran the farm, but a lot of it had to do with their spirit about the whole thing. I can remember Dean talking several years back about being worried that no one would continue to operate the farm once he became unable to. He was visibly saddened by the thought. It was much more than just a job for him. I think he knew how much it meant to the people who came there every year. Dean has passed on now, but his family is keeping the tradition alive, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that!
If you’ve never been out there before, I whole-heartedly recommend you plan to make the trip this year. You won’t regret it! You can connect with them via facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WhisperingPinesTreeFarm) or get more information, including directions, at their website (http://www.floridachristmastree.com/)