Finding the perfect Christmas tree

Our Christmas tree tradition always involves sturdy boots, a saw and lots of layers. Though not a planned segment of our seemingly idyllic Adirondack ritual, we always manage a snowball fight where someone gets hurt. It’s tradition. Our neighbors generously invite us to search for a tree on their property, but we tend to gravitate toward the fields of one of the nearby tree farms.

I grew up getting a tree off a lot. My husband convinced me early on to take advantage of the outside opportunities when we can. Now I look forward to the times that we can walk through the fields of a local tree farm and pick the perfect tree.

Don Hamm Tree Farm, 179 Cold Brook Road, Vermontville has over 8,000 trees in the ground. Though not all of them are ready to harvest, there are plenty of choices to find the picture-perfect tree. Hamm is open every day so people can search for a flawless balsam fir. There are roads throughout the fields for easy access. You don’t have to bring tools. Hamm’s staff will cut the tree and help load it on your vehicle. General hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but please call 518-891-4749 to confirm.

Across the road is Kretser’s Tree Farm, 168 Cold Brook Road, Vermontville. Kretser’s is a more intimate experience with a wider variety of trees. Tree options include balsam, Scotch pine, red pine, white pine and spruce. Please call 518-891-0238 for daily hours.

Moody Tree Farm is located at 60 County Route 55, Saranac Lake (toward Gabriels). Please call 518-891-2468 for any updates to hours of operation. Normal hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Moody has over an acre lot to search through as well as a large pre-cut lot. There is also a gift shop and a wreath-making room. Warm up with hot chocolate and fresh cookies on the weekends. Moody Tree Farm also operates Christmas tree lots at the Hannaford Plaza in Lake Placid and at Coakley Hardware in Saranac Lake. If your family can’t make the trip, you can even gift a bit of the Adirondacks by ordering fresh greenery from Moodytreefarm.com.

Whereever you choose to go, make sure to leave enough time to get that perfect photo, take a ski, or have a random snowball fight. Enjoy your own holiday tradition!

.Diane Chase is the author of the “Adirondack Family Activities” guidebook series, “Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities.” For more family-friendly activities go to www.adirondackfamilytime.com.