An {Iowa} Christmas Tree – We put up our tree…


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Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, we always get an email from Kelly Tree Farm with a picture of us in front of our tree. It’s am amazing marketing tactic! Honestly. I look forward to getting that email every Thanksgiving. This year, though, we didn’t get one and I was upset! How dare they forget to email us! Where is our family picture???

kelly tree farm

An {Iowa} Christmas Tree – We put up our tree…

Look how cute we were two years ago! There we all are, at Kelly Tree Farm with our tree. Our reasonably sized tree. {In fact, Sara is in a spica cast in this picture and will be in another one next week, but don’t get me started on that right now.}

cutting down our christmas tree

Ahem. Well, I guess I forgot that we didn’t actually get our tree there last year. No, last year, we went out to Dan’s dad’s windbreak. See, my husband’s parents had a rental house burn down a few years ago. {It was a sad deal and if you rent, please make sure you have renter’s insurance!!!} Well, the windbreak is kind of in the way of farming progress now, so we get to cut our trees down out there. The problem is, the trees are GINORMOUS! We’re talking beyond big. They were huge last year, and now they’ve grown a whole entire year longer…

cutting down our christmas tree There were only two trees in the whole windbreak that were even possibilities…although I did like the top 9 feet of one tree that was over 20 feet tall. πŸ˜‰ And clearly, the possibilities were not ideal.

charlie brown christmas tree This one was about the most reasonably sized thing out there… but I was vetoed!!! I can’t imagine why.

cutting down christmas tree

I grudgingly agreed on a tree {and then changed my mind halfway through the chopping process} but by then it was too late. We chopped down our tree and drug it home to our barn. It’s our only chance to have a huge tree…we have a 12 ft ceiling right now…I heard all the reasons for why we need a HUGE tree this year.

huge christmas tree
So, back to the tree. It barely fit in the truck. And to get it anywhere near the barn, we had to drive it up to the mow ramp.
bringing the tree in the barn
Of course, there was no way that huge stump would fit in the tree stand. Β And it laughed in the face of Dan’s little chopper saw thing.
bringing the tree in the barn And the chainsaw wasn’t much better. It even ran out of gas before Dan got the stump filed down to a manageable size.

the hallway in the barn We prepped the hallway in our barn so the tree would slide right on in – everything had to be moved out of the way.

shoving the tree in the barn door

And then we couldn’t get the tree in the door. {giggle}

shoving the tree in the barn door Since it wouldn’t fit, we thought some pulling action would be useful. We lined up the kids – heavy weight in the back… And heave-hoed it all the way in.
shoving the tree in the barn door Whew.
An {Iowa} Christmas Tree The tree is up now. It’s decorated. From the front and 2 sides, anyway. Don’t look at it through the other side of the big window it’s in front of. There’s nothing to see there. This tree qualifies as the biggest tree I’ve ever had in my house – and I remember a tree we had when I was a teenager that had to be guy-wired to the wall to keep it up right. So our tree might not fall down before we’re ready to take it out of the barn. But I wouldn’t bet money on it. πŸ˜‰

And that my friends, is how you do Christmas trees in Iowa.

I tell you what, I love the tree, but next year, we’re going back to Kelly Tree Farm. Do you put up a tree? Have a funny story to share? I’d love to hear.Β 


About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Tree looks beautiful! We’ve only tried to put up a live tree once. My husband tried to trim the trunk with a kitchen knife and injured himself. We’ve had an artificial one ever since, but if we have kids, would want them to experience a real tree.

    1. Real trees are fun. I will never have an artificial tree if I can help it. Yikes on your hubs hurting himself, though!!! Hope it wasn’t a bad injury!

  2. We too go as a family and pick out a tree. I always grew up with real trees and my husband always grew up with artificial, and I guess I won on carrying on the tradition of a real tree. The only funny story from this year is that when we screwed the tree into the base (the first time) we thought the tree was leaning a little but decided it wasn’t bad so we left it alone, that was until several hours later when it fell over while we were eating supper. We readjusted it and it hasn’t fallen over since thank goodness! We had a tree a couple years ago that we had to use string to help keep it up by tying it to the window latch.

  3. What a fun post Michelle! I love the picture of y’all trying to get it through the front door. πŸ™‚ When we were a lot younger, it was so much fun to go tramping through the snow to find just the right tree. Now we go to the corner lot and buy one from a tree farm. πŸ™‚