Be your own lumberjack - Christmas in Northern California

There is nothing we enjoy more here at Point Equity than spending time with the wonderful families we are fortunate enough to help. It's even more over the top when it involves young kids, old jeeps and showing some southern California transplants how awesome holidays up north can be.
The Little Bear Christmas Tree Farm is in the historic Sierra Foothill town of Alta right off Interestate 80. The farm, which operates more like a small village, is an absolute treat in the winter.

The Little Bear Christmas Tree Farm is in the historic Sierra Foothill town of Alta right off Interestate 80. The farm, which operates more like a small village, is an absolute treat in the winter.

This past summer, looking for better schools and a better family environment, Ron and Karla Yates and their two awesome children left the heavy congestion of Southern California and planted new roots in Placer County. Active and outdoors, they have quickly embraced the smaller communities and endless outdoor adventures in the foothills. Naturally, with a "yes we can" attitude, the Yates family met up with our little crew of lumberjacks this past weekend at Alta's Little Bear Tree Farm to pick out and cut down this year's Christmas trees. 

The Yates were lifelong residents of Hawthorne California and while they miss their family members down south, they are loving Placer County living.

The Yates were lifelong residents of Hawthorne California and while they miss their family members down south, they are loving Placer County living.

If you go, arrive early (opens at 9am); by the time we left shortly after noon there was a hefty car line waiting to get into the grounds. Little Bear does it right understanding that the experience is probably twice as important as the tree. As you pull in and pass the trout pond, the fire pit is lit with log benches waiting for you to warm yourself by the fire.

It can feel a little crowded around the gift shop with the old jeeps, fire pit and guests heading up and down the hill but we didn't mind the hustle and bustle.

It can feel a little crowded around the gift shop with the old jeeps, fire pit and guests heading up and down the hill but we didn't mind the hustle and bustle.

The Yates family in the back of one of Willy's famous jeeps. You can almost smell the sweet aroma of a burning clutch in the photo.

The Yates family in the back of one of Willy's famous jeeps. You can almost smell the sweet aroma of a burning clutch in the photo.

After grabbing a rusty old saw from the bin, the adventure begins with a vintage jeep ride up the mountainside that the kids love. Once at the jump off you're on your own to explore the 50+ acres looking for your perfect tree. A little bit of advice to help the wandering searcher; keep an eye out while your driving up the hillside for a good tree, most groups head up the hill from the drop off point but during our walk back down we realized there were many more options further down the hill.

A couple of young lumberjacks in training with their pretend saws.

A couple of young lumberjacks in training with their pretend saws.

In the spirit of the season we let our kids pick out the tree and of course they settled on the cousin of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. 

Our son doing the heavy lifting while his younger sister supervises.

Our son doing the heavy lifting while his younger sister supervises.

Doing our best to make lasting memories.

Doing our best to make lasting memories.

The Yates needed a bigger to fill their gorgeous living room so Ron and I headed off to another ridge. After finding a hidden patch of 10 foot gems, Ron picked the winner, winner, chicken dinner and we had an adventurous trip back across the gulch.

Forget about running with scissors, how about uncovered saws and steep hillsides.

Forget about running with scissors, how about uncovered saws and steep hillsides.

Success! Another uniquely Northern California experience in the books.

Success! Another uniquely Northern California experience in the books.

Back down the hill, Little Bear has a fantastic gift shop and picturesque grounds for the kids to run around. The dammed up creek is filled with enormous trout and makes for a perfect picknic  location.

Keep your eyes open, the entire farm is filled with hidden gems perfect for photos.

Keep your eyes open, the entire farm is filled with hidden gems perfect for photos.

As a self proclaimed bear carving connoisseur I have to say this enormous well thought out design ranks pretty high on the list.  

As a self proclaimed bear carving connoisseur I have to say this enormous well thought out design ranks pretty high on the list.  

Even the old bearded elf was there for the kids to get in their wish list. All and all it was a fantastic morning spent with good friends doing something that is pretty quintessential to the Northern California Holiday Season. Happy Holidays everyone and enjoy this special time of year.

That's a real beard, none of the phony stuff allowed at Little Bear.

That's a real beard, none of the phony stuff allowed at Little Bear.

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Justin Coupe is co-owner of Point Equity Residential Lending, a husband and proud father of two. In his spare time he enjoys laughing hysterically alongside his father while they try to fly fish out of a dinghy that is way too small for two full grown men.