It may not exactly be a trick per se, but it is a very convenient way to ensure you enjoy a beautiful, real tree this holiday season without having to get it way too early. Lots of local Christmas tree farms allow you to tag your tree weeks before you cut it down and it has become a beloved tradition for my family.

For years, a friend of mine has been taking the whole family out the weekend after Thanksgiving for the annual tagging of the Christmas tree. Though I always thought it was cute, I never thought to give it a try – until last year, that is.

Christmas 2020 seemed to find trees in such short supply that stories of folks taking chainsaws into the woods and going full Clark Griswold seemed to be popping up everywhere. Though I'm sure my husband would have loved going that route, I tried the tag-a-tree concept instead.

Spoiler alert: I loved it.

Christmas tree shopping is all about timing. I've had trees die on me before Christmas even arrived, so I've learned the hard way not too get one too early. However, with thoughts of tree shortages in everyone's ear, waiting too long may also mean not getting a good tree. The solution is to head out early to tag your tree, then go back closer to Christmas to cut it down and bring it home.

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Believe it or not, tagging the tree is a super fun experience, too. You get to walk around (on probably a warmer day than later in December), find your perfect tree and then decorate it right there in the field. Most tree tagging farms encourage some decorations to help ensure no one snags your tag and claims your tree. Apparently, decorating it makes that much less likely.

Added bonus, you can stop and snap a few photos in front of your farm-decorated tree for great seasonal photos of the family. Last year, I made everyone wear matching hats and sweaters for the tree tagging, and boom, instant Christmas card.

Honestly, once I tried it, I didn't know why I hadn't been doing it for years. Tagging my tree early in the season is my new Christmas go-to and I can't wait to get out there again.

Farms Closest to New Bedford for Tagging Your Christmas Tree

There are surprisingly no cut-your-own Christmas tree farms on the SouthCoast. Most local families get pre-cut trees from a variety of places, but for those who want to get a little more hands-on this holiday, there are a few places within driving distance to not only cut your own tree, but to also tag it earlier in the season.

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