When we first got married a little over three years ago, Matt and I decided for our first Christmas together that we wanted to have a live Christmas Tree. We both came from families that always had Plastic Christmas Trees,which is fine, but we thought it might be a fun new experience together to get a real one! Boy, were we ever right! We found this great little tree farm in the Lexington, KY area called Barkers Tree Farm, which we would highly recommend to anyone living in Central Kentucky. They were a small family owned and operated farm that allowed you to choose and cut you own tree. Then they would shake, bag and tie it to the roof of your car for you. But before they did all that , they always made sure to snap a photo of each of their families that came to purchase a Christmas Tree from them each year. Then they hang the photos in the barn at the beginning of the next holiday season, so when you come back you can find your families picture and then you get to take it with you!
We loved going to that place so much each year and finding our tree. We even told many close friends of ours from Lexington and Matt’s older brother, William, and his wife about it as well as generously took them out to the farm for their first Christmas, the following year, when they mentioned how they wanted to get a live tree and specifically asked us about where we had found ours. It was the first Christmas Tradition that we had ever established for our own little family and through out our first three Christmas’ that we lived in Lexington we became attached to the memories and the sentiment that went along with going back the weekend after Thanksgiving each year. We loved getting to chat with The Barkers and hear about how their lives had been. We loved hearing Grandma Barker tell us how excited she was to see us come back and give us a big, warm hug to back up her words, one year we even helped her find her Christmas tree as we looked for ours! We loved standing by the fire pit warming our hands. We loved getting to find our picture in the red barn and help tie down the tree before leaving to go home.
Last year we never would have guessed that it would have been our final year to go back to Barkers, even though we knew 2014 would hold big changes for our family. If so we would have gotten a picture with them and explained how much their life’s work had impacted our family. We would have told them how much we would miss them. Part of me is glad we didn’t know because I think that would have been really bittersweet. I’m glad that life played out the way it did. That we got to enjoy the full sentiment of Barkers Christmas Tree Farm one more time before relocating our family. It will forever be remember and cherished by us for all the sweet Newlywed Christmas memories it holds for us.
That being said this year we were faced with a dilemma since we had moved in February to The Cincinnati/Greater Northern Kentucky Area. Do we make the drive up to Barkers or do we find a new Christmas Tree Farm in the area that we now call home. We seriously considered going back down to Lexington to pick out our tree from the Barker family but after much thought we decided it was in our families best interest to carry on the tradition we had established in the new city that we now called home. There were a couple reasons for this:
1. Being that it would be nearly a four hour drive round trip, possibly longer, after you factor in traffic and getting through the heart of the city out into the country side.
2. We knew we needed to establish ties here in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky for our little family of two, to really make it our home town. How could we truly get attached if we kept going back to Lexington for everything? We knew we needed to put down roots where God had called us too.
So the search began!
We eventually found this great little Christmas Tree Farm called The Big Tree Plantation on the outskirts of Cincinnati, near Mason which was also family owned and operated! We decided we would go there and check it out for our first Christmas here in Cincinnati. Let me just say, we are SO glad we did! Barkers will always have a special place in our hearts but Big Tree will definitely be the fresh start to a new, old Christmas tradition in the Pomeroy family here in our new hometown. They allowed us to choose and cut down our own tree too, which was a must have for us because that is half the fun in our eyes. But then on top of that they had a horse drawn sleigh that would ride you out to the Christmas Tree field, as well as all you can drink complimentary hot chocolate to keep you nice and toasty! They also had a gift shop and cafe where you could have lunch or purchase gifts, ornaments or other Christmas decorations while they were shaking and wrapping your tree as well as the cutest little red sleigh surrounded by Evergreen Trees to take a family picture with your family Christmas Tree. If that wasn’t enough they also had a live Nativity scene, Reindeer and Santa! What?!? It was like a Christmas dream!
Our favorite part by far though was the prayer request journal that the family left out next to the Hot Chocolate for their families to write in so that they could pray for them through out the upcoming year and the scripture that they had posted all over the farm to bring back the focus to the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ.
All in all it was a great first trip to The Big Tree Plantation for this Pomeroy family to choose, cut and come home with their first Christmas Tree in this newly founded hometown of ours.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions, old and new? Are there any that you have forged on your own as a family or have decided to carry on into your own little family from your parents partnership?!? Tell us about it in the comment section below! We can’t wait to hear all about what warms your heart during this wonderful season of remembrance.
Much love & prayer,
Matt & Blair