If you’ve never chopped down your own X-Mas tree, you’re missing out! Even living in a city is no excuse. Find out how I did it for the 1st time here — it’s SO easy & fun!
While my family and I always had a real Christmas tree growing up, we never actually cut down our very own. The idea seems so magical though, right? You take a trip into the woods, find THE perfect tree, chop it down by hand, and then triumphantly return home to admire the fruits of your labor — all while the snow is gently falling of course! The thought of taking part in a tradition like that is so appealing, and I FINALLY got to try it out for myself this year. The best part? It was way easier than I had ever imagined, and I’m already looking forward to doing it all over again next year!
As great as the experience was though, there are a few things I wish I would have known beforehand — especially living in New York City. First things first, you really can’t do it without a car. While most New Yorkers don’t have a vehicle at their disposable, it’s a lot easier than you’d think to rent one for the day or for the weekend. The city is scattered with rental facilities like Hertz, and you can also rent a Zipcar, which is a relatively cheap option, as there’s an option to rent hourly. For our tree-chopping trip, my boyfriend Antonio and I drove a 2018 Chevy Traverse, and it rode like a dream — we both highly recommend! Click here to see festive pics of celebs with their Christmas trees this year.
It just so happens that the Saturday we ventured to the tree farm, was also the day it snowed for first time this season. We felt super lucky to have our Chevy though, as it handled the snow and ice effortlessly. Once our weekend car was taken care of, we had to pick an actual tree farm. We chose Dixiedale Farm in Chatham Township, New Jersey, which was only about 52 minutes away from our Manhattan apartment. We just plugged the address into our car and we were off! To keep us in the holiday spirit during the ride up, we used our Chevy’s Apple CarPlay feature to play Christmas songs. I was also able to get some work done by using the car’s built-in 4G LTE and WiFi — always a plus!
Dixiedale Farm looked like an absolute winter wonderland when we arrived, thanks to all the gorgeous snow. Most tree farms will have a wide variety of sizes and tree types for you to choose from, and Dixiedale was no different. Of course living in a cramped NYC apartment though, we needed a tiny, almost table-top sized tree. Luckily they had the cutest one that perfectly fit our needs! Most farms will offer you a hand if you don’t want to physically chop the tree down yourself. I let Antonio handle this part though! He was given a saw by the farmhands, and it only took him a few seconds to get our tree out of the ground.
What you’ll want to bring though is a pair of boots you don’t mind getting muddy, relatively sturdy gloves for when you’re handling the tree, and even a piece of cardboard to kneel on while you saw it down. Always make sure to measure the space in your home and car too, so you know exactly what size tree you can work with. And don’t forget to leave enough room at the top for a tree topper!
In addition to gloves and boots, you’ll obviously want to dress warm all around. When actually chopping the tree, make sure to cut it low to the ground and straight across. It’s easiest if a friend pulls the tree slightly away from the side you’re cutting, which will prevent the saw from binding. When tying your tree to the top of your car, it’s best to put the tree stump first — that is, with the stump-end towards the front of the car. It’s the most aerodynamic and thus fuel efficient way to transport your tree home.
If you don’t want to bother with tying and untying your tree though, a large car, like the Chevy Traverse, has enough storage space to simply put it in the back of the car — easy peasy! And once you actually have your tree, the fun is only beginning! Antonio and I made a whole day out of it, and ended up grabbing lunch in the cute, small town nearby. We also went Christmas shopping and bought some tree decorations. It’s safe to say this is a newfound holiday tradition!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do YOU think you’ll try cutting down your own Christmas tree at some point?