A real Christmas tree…believe it or not, I’ve actually never had one! That is why when my parents offered to let us tag along to pick out their live Christmas tree, we eagerly agreed! They’ve had a real tree once or twice before – but it’s been during their empty nest years, so I have never been involved in the process.
This year, my mom thought it would be a lot of fun for my kids to see how the whole “real tree thing” works, so off we went to the market.
With a toddler and a newborn in tow, we decided to skip the whole chopping down the tree on the mountaintop experience…maybe another year.
My parents are both teachers at heart! My dad is a pastor…my mom home-schooled us for a couple of years…teaching is just in their blood. So, of course, they made this adventure a learning experience for my little ones, and as a teacher myself, I was all about it!
Before we left their house, they let my little ones help measure the space where the Christmas tree was going to sit in their family room. Depending on the age of your kiddos, this is a great time to chat about words like height, width, depth, diameter, circumference…okay, I’ll stop there.
On a piece of paper, my oldest made some notes about what size tree he would be shopping for at the market (This was adorable!), and then off we went!
When we arrived at the market, we grabbed a quick lunch and then started the search – chatting about different kinds of trees and the attributes of those trees.
My oldest carried his measurement notes with him and continued to refer to them as he was shopping – “No, that one’s too tall.” “No, that one’s too short.” My mom even brought along a tape measure to use while we were on the hunt.
When we found the perfect size tree, we paid for our tree! Paying with cash on occasion gives you the perfect opportunity to teach your kids the value of various bills/coins, how to add and subtract money amounts, how to count back change, and more!
We watched the shop owner lift our tree and carry it to the baler! My kids had never seen this process, and they loved watching the machine in action!
When we arrived back at my parent’s house, we placed the tree in the stand, and my little ones were excited to help with the initial watering of the tree. Since we were in town for a few days, they actually helped water the tree multiple times, and they loved this!
They also loved when my mom showed them YouTube videos of unwatered trees going up in flames, but maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that.
That night, we ate cookies and drank hot chocolate while we decorated the tree. Then my mom cuddled up with my kiddos and read Christmas stories to them. It was perfect.
Looking for a fun Christmas Tree picture book?
I have also fallen in love with Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray! This book has the most beautiful illustrations, and is perfect for all ages!