There is just something about the Christmas season that not only starts a reflective attitude on the last year, but also a nostalgic one. For me, anyways, I like to think about the traditions my family takes on.
We usually bake or make candy as a family. We expect Grandma to bring her Chex Mix to every gathering and then instantly eat all of it. (I’m not joking, my Grandma Joanie’s mix is for real.) Someone usually calls out “Happy Birthday Jesus!” which gets a good chuckle, as it was something my other Grandma Bev always said on Christmas Eve before she passed away.
One of my favorite memories as a kid was decorating the Christmas tree in my parent’s house. If we got it from a tree farm or lot or Wal-Mart, we always had a lot of fun planning out the light colors, getting Mom’s beautiful angel on the top and carefully picking out the mish-mash of ornaments we treasured.
The Christmas tree is a gathering space that I love to adorn in my own home. As I was thinking about the upcoming holiday back in October, something sparked in me. I wanted to take photos of other people’s holiday traditions, and why not the finding of their Christmas tree?!
Wisconsin is ranked 5th in the nation for Christmas tree sales, and in 2014 over 675,000 trees were sold by WI tree farmers, according to the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association. This is an amazing agricultural industry that adds so much to the Wisconsin economy, and it truly seemed like the perfect way to support a local grower by hosting this project at a tree farm! (As you know, I love me a good farm!)
With a little thought, planning
I have photographed the Zeman family in the past as part of a larger family shoot on Megan’s family farm, so I was thrilled to be working with them again. They were so excited to come out to Suamico and select their Christmas tree at Edwardson’s Tree Farm with me following them the whole time with my camera.
I watched as Megan and Kyle ushered their newly walking daughter Eliza around the tree farm with huge smiles and a lot of laughs as Eliza kept falling over in the long grass. But that little peanut just kept going and ONLY cried when she was picked up.
Eliza watched with interest as Mom and Dad talked over the merits of one tree over another. She even tottered off (with me nearby) to inspect some of the trees she liked! Ultimately, this little girl watched with wonder while her Dad worked on cutting down their 2018 Christmas Tree.
Eliza also got to hangout with Santa and was given a tasty candy cane before they left!
The team at Edwardson’s is one of the best I’ve encountered at a tree farm! Santa is there (obviously!), but shortly after the Zeman’s cut down their tree, someone with a ATV and wagon was able to load up the tree and take it back to the main buildings. They shook the loose needles and then wrapped it up nice and tight for the ride home. They are a joy to talk to and truly run a wonderful business!
I was so honored to work with the Zemans at Edwardson’s Tree Farm, and I’m hoping I can conjure up a new fun photo project next Christmas. If you have any ideas, let me know! I would love to make your photo dreams a reality!
Would you like to document your family or farm with heirloom photos and a written story to share with your family, friends and future generations? Contact photographer and writer Alyssa Bloechl for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 920-445-8727.