For the last couple of years, we cut down our own Christmas tree in the Willamette National Forest. We take the trip with another couple and we all agree that it is one of the highlights of the holiday season. We bring a picnic lunch and hot drinks to enjoy after finding our “perfect” tree.
I highly recommend making this a part of your holiday tradition. In addition to exchanging homemade gifts with family and friends (instead of purchased gifts) and an annual cookie decorating party, this has really brought back some of the spirit of Christmas for me.
On the way, we stop at the Ranger Station and pick up a map and permit, along with a candy cane. The forest service employees are always really helpful in providing directions to places to find your desired tree species. The tree never ends up being quite as perfect as those that you buy in the lot, but that’s part of the charm. A tree permit costs only $5, making it a bargain compared to lot prices of $50+.