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Tree Hunt Traditions in the National Forest

November 26, 2017

Remember four years ago when we thought we’d try a new family tradition? Lucie was a tiny little two-month old, and we went hunting for a wild Christmas tree in Mount Hood National Forest.

I don’t want to be too confident, but I’d say we found the recipe for our new version of holiday cheer. Though, spoken as an ever-learning parent, I’d also say check in next year to see how it actually pans out…with a toddler.
– Bethany, 2013

We made it twice with the ritual [2013 and 2014], then bagged it the next two years in favor of easier pickings at my family’s Christmas tree farm (when I was pregnant with Marion [2015] and then juggling two under three [2016]).

This year with the girls a little older (and with a borrowed pickup from my parents!), we decided to trek to the mountain again.

Cutting a Christmas Tree in the National Forest

They key to success? (As ever, in my world.) A doughnut pit stop right across the street from the hardware store selling Christmas tree permits.



























Tree Hunting Tradition Observations:

It’s not as easy as it sounds to find a tree in the forest.

A good maple bar makes mama happy.

Leftover brisket is great mountain man snack food.

It’s so silly and fun to decorate a tree with a four year old who’s jazzed to stay up past her bedtime and make things “more beautifuler.”

It’s the best ever watching a one year old wake up the next morning and walk into the living room to find a tree magically alight.

Traditions are worth it.

Bring on the mistletoe and merriment!


Joe’s Donuts – Sandy, OR

Mt. Hood National Forest $5.00 Christmas Tree Permits

Oregon Live’s Tree Hunting How-To

Our Tree Hunting Notes (scroll to the bottom of the post)


I’m ready to change up the destination next year, though I feel like asking for suggestions is akin to inquiring about prized mushroom hunting spots and subject to the same silent response. That said…anyone who wants to clue me in to a better patch of woodland, leave me a comment or send me a note! And bonus points if there are doughnuts on the way…

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