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We have always had a live pine tree for Christmas. I grew up in a small rural town where farms sold trees, some precut and some where you cut your own. We put it up on Christmas Eve, a tradition from my mother's family, and kept it u p until Epithany.
When my husband and I were first married we lived in the Buffalo, New York area. One year we drove to a corner tree lot. It was below freezing and the snow was coming down heavily. We just sat in the warmth of the car, looking at the trees and picked one out. We dashed out paid and tied that tree to the roof of the car in record time. It wasn't the best tree but it is a tree we still remember.
Now we have a cross country ski resort/tree farm where we have a wide choice of beautiful trees. My husband cuts down the winner. Our cats sniff it and love to nap beneath it, dreaming of the outdoors. I love that pine smell and because we cut the tree ourselves, it is fresh and needles rarely fall.
Read my 2011 Advent Memories post: Christmas Tree Memories.