It's tradition. Every year we buy a cutting permit from the Forest Service (five bucks!), drive into the woods, and cut down a tree. We try to go to a new place every year, and we always find a great spot for tree hunting and playing in the snow.
We made our yearly trip on Sunday. We loaded the kids and the dog into the pickup and headed out South Century Drive (just south of Sunriver). A few miles down a snow-covered forest service road we found that perfect spot. A sledding hill surrounded by stands of smaller trees.
The kids got bundled up in their snow clothes and boots, and made their way to the top of the hill. Soon the area was filled with shrieks and giggles as they slid down the hill again and again... and again. Meanwhile Scott and I scouted around (in hip-deep snow) and found the perfect tree. Once the tree was downed, hauled back to the truck and loaded - we joined in the fun.
The kids had packed a couple of great runs by then. We have one large double toboggan-style sled, raised up on runners. The kids called its' run "the rollercoaster". The start of the run was a bit flat, then went over a (snow-covered) log and a steep drop to the bottom. It got a little squirrely at the bottom and we were thrown from the sled several times. But it was all in good fun as the snow was deep and soft.
Our other sleds are flat-bottomed "sliders". We have a couple of the disc-style ones with little canvas handles, and several elongated flat foam ones. The run for these was a bit longer with a banked curve and a jump. It was very fast and lots of fun. Butthead liked to ride this one face-first and we teased that she hardly needed a sled. I rode "double" with each of the kids a couple of times as well.
Divot also loved her first trip to the snow. She wore herself out "swimming" in the deep snow and was pretty happy to snooze in a blanket on the ride home, snug and warm.
Last night we put up the tree and the kids went to town decorating. It's a little funky of course - since it's not a farmed tree - but it works well in our space.
Mmmmm... our house smells like Christmas...