Last weekend, I had my first experience in purchasing a real Christmas tree for my home. All my life, I grew up with a fake tree, and honestly, I never minded it, until I realized the damage they cause to the environment.

I wanted the fresh smell of pine and the experience of picking out our own tree this year, so my fiancé Ross and I grabbed some rope, an old blanket, and headed to Stop and Chop Tree Farm in Exeter, RI. If this is your first year getting a real tree like me, don't make the same mistake we made. Size really does matter.

This Exeter tree farm had plenty of Fraser Fir, White Spruce, and Blue Spruce to choose from, and with saw in hand, we eagerly searched for the perfectly-shaped tree.

That’s when we found a Fraser Fir, filled with healthy pine needles and completely filled out. As Ross crouched down to cut the tree, that’s when we realized – we forgot to measure. We had eyeballed our living room ceiling and planned on using Ross as a walking tape measure to compare at the tree farm, but we didn’t factor in the height difference of a tree perfectly planted and a tree with a cut stump.

The first red flag was the tree fit in our back seat.

The second red flag was that Ross could carry it into the house without any assistance.

Then, as we stood the tree up on its stand in our living, we stared at the Fraser Fir, standing no more than four and a half feet tall.

It’s the tiniest Christmas tree I have ever seen.

Maddie Levine/Townsquare Media

We learned the hard way that a tape measure is a crucial part of the tree-picking process.

Rookie mistake.

Our tree may be small, but the pictures we take in front of it will bring us back to a fond memory and silly lesson learned for the following year.

GET SOME HOLIDAY CHEER: Christmas Trees on the SouthCoast

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