There’s nothing quite like the smell of a fresh Christmas tree. You’ve always thought it would be cool to cut down your own tree, but you’re not quite ready to become Clark Griswold and drag your entire family out into the snow and mud to search for the perfect one. We respect that and found the perfect compromise! 

Risen Christ Catholic Church in Boise has an incredible Garden Ministry that raises fresh vegetables and fruits that they distribute to the hungry within the parish community as well the larger Boise community through working with organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
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As the garden and passion for it grew, the church had the idea to turn an unused, weed-infested area of the church grounds into their own Christmas Tree farm. It took years to get it up and running, but with lots of help they were able to plant their first 350 trees in 2011. They continued planting a similar amount of trees for 7 years, setting up the Garden Ministry to host an event they always dreamed of: a family focused Christmas Tree fundraiser. The first one happened in 2019 and it’s become a yearly tradition! 

Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
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During the fundraiser, the church offers families across the Treasure Valley an opportunity that falls somewhere between Clark Griswold and roaming a Christmas tree lot. On November 25-26 and December 3-4, the community is invited to visit the garden behind the church and cut down their favorite tree. The money from the tree sales will go toward the church’s mortgage debt. 

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If you don’t want to cut down the tree yourself, there will be volunteers on site to do it for you after you point out which tree would look perfect in your home. In addition to the tree sale, the church will also offer fresh wreaths made by parishioners and hot cocoa. 

Tree sales run from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The church is located at 11511 Lake Hazel Road in Boise.

But Wait…I Want to Be Clark Griswold

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Hey, we’re not going to stop you from wandering out into the Payette or Boise National Forest to search for your tree if you really want to. Here’s what you need to know to get yours! 

Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest is recommending buying your permits online as they will not be selling permits at the Interagency Visitor Center in Boise this year. Those permits went on-sale mid-October and can be purchased at Recreation.gov. Online purchases will tack on an extra $2.50 service fee.

According to the Boise National Forest's website, if you'd like to purchase your tree permit in person, their only vendor selling permits within the Treasure Valley is East Cleveland Beverage in Caldwell. Other vendors are selling permits in person as well, but they're a little further away. You can see those locations HERE. 

Permits are good from Saturday, November 19 - Sunday, December 25. 

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Payette National Forest

Like the Boise National Forest, the Payette National Forest also has permits on-sale now through Recreation.gov. The same $2.50 service fee applies to their permits.

Payette National Forest permits are valid from Saturday, November 19 - Saturday, December 31. You can help build the kid's anticipation for the big trip to find the tree by printing out one of these cute coloring pages the forest service put together HERE. 

FREE Tree Permits for Fourth Graders

Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
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Don't forget, both the Payette and Boise National Forests participate in the "Every Kid Outdoors" program. As part of that program, fourth graders can get a free Christmas Tree permit for their family. For more information click HERE. 

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