Traditions are the best part of the holiday season. In my house, you can tell it’s Christmas time when the smell of pine is in the air. Just like my food, I like to keep it “real” with my Christmas tree. I’m excited to be working with the Christmas Tree Promotion Board to help spread the word about the benefits of real Christmas trees in their “It’s Christmas. Keep it Real” campaign.
One of our favorite family traditions is going to a local Christmas tree farm and cutting down our tree each year. It’s a special time for the four of us. We love searching the fields for just the right tree, and the kids look forward to the hot chocolate and candy canes they get at the farm.
We went just after Thanksgiving this year, and there were lots of trees in the fields. Our perfect tree was hiding in the very back of the farm, so it took some searching to find it. We were all very happy with our selection – not too wide, not too thin, just the right height – and my husband and son worked together to cut it down. The farm has saws and sleds available for everyone, so that makes it easy to cut down your tree and transport it back to your car.
I love that real Christmas trees are the most environmentally friendly option. Real trees are carbon neutral, absorbing as much carbon during their lives as they emit when discarded. They’re also recyclable, and many towns will collect them in January and turn them into mulch to help the soil. In addition, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board states that it plants at least one new tree (and up to three) for every tree that’s cut down for the holidays.
Once we get our tree home, it’s so much fun to decorate it while enjoying snacks and Christmas music. This slow cooker mulled apple cider is a delicious treat that goes perfectly with tree trimming. I keep it warm in the slow cooker, so we can refill our glasses as needed during the festivities. The recipe can easily be doubled for holiday parties, and you can simmer it on the stovetop if you’d prefer.
Christmas Tree Farm Mulled Cider
- ½ gallon apple cider
- 1 medium orange sliced
- 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 pieces star anise
Pour the apple cider into the slow cooker and add the orange slices to the cider. Add the ginger, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
Cook on low for an hour. This mulled cider can be kept warm by using the warm setting on the slow cooker. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator.
Note: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Christmas Tree Promotion Board. All opinions are my own.