The Great Christmas Tree Hunt

My town is in that valley in the distance.
The Christmas season is a mixed blessing when you live the middle of nowhere. You can't just pop down to the nearest Target to grab that last minute gift. (That's an 80 mile drive). So that means you're shopping online, hoping Amazon Prime sends whatever it was you forgot in the promised 2 days. But it also means that you aren't stuck paying upwards of $60 for dead or dying tree to stick in your house. We live adjacent to a National Forest, and our local area grocery stores, gas stations etc all stock Christmas Tree Permits. For a small fee, you can go cut your own. And that's what we did over Thanksgiving weekend.

The tiny white speck on that rock is a lookout 
  There are very specific spots ok'd by the USFS for tree cutting. And last weekend was THE most busy weekend for Christmas tree hunts. Normally, you can drive the dirt roads that lead to the ridge tops and be completely alone. On Saturday, we saw 15 cars in less than an hour. We've been "lucky" that winter weather has yet to hit our area. There have been some years where we couldn't cut our trees because the designated areas were impassable except by snowmobile.

We were all quite proud of ourselves for choosing a small-ish tree this year. Normally, we bring home a monster, then have to figure out how to fit it into our tiny living room. Our ceilings are not very tall, so this one was just about perfect.

If you celebrate Christmas, what kind of tree do you get? Real or artificial? And do you do the tree lots or are you the cut-your-own type also?

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