picTORIal: The McDermott Christmas Tree

Last weekend we set out as a family to find the perfect Christmas tree. We headed to the Santa Paula Christmas Tree Farm, where we’d be able to choose our perfect tree and cut it down ourselves. I love getting the kids involved in activities like this… it’s so special for us to be able to share these moments as a family, and then share the photos with you!  Here’s my picTORIal from our day at the Christmas tree farm…


Here’s the name of the fabulous Christmas tree farm we spent the afternoon at


To get to the actual tree farm we had to take a  train ride (where they sang Christmas caroles the whole way!). Arriving at the train station we see the beautiful vintage-y holiday décor


Dad and Hattie get our tickets


A vintage carousel kept the kids busy till it was time to board the train


Stella meets a new friend who cracked her up!


All aboard!!


Hattie cat was fascinated by all the giant sized colored Christmas ornaments


 Here’s our conductor


Inside of the vintage train


Air pumps to show the excitement!


Stella is ready for some hot chocolate and a train ride!


Finn is all bundled up and ready to roll…


…for a minute, and then he fell fast asleep for the whole train trip.


Santa pays a visit to our train car!


Buggy and Mama cuddle in our seats to enjoy the beautiful view


Hattie loving the view and her first candy cane


When we arrived at the Christmas tree farm it was breathtaking. It had just stopped raining and the skies were magnificently clear. Love this shot I caught of my boys…


Everyone departing the train…


Oh yeah you’re seeing it correctly! This farm had camel rides. Here’s Butter, an A-list animal actor. Quite a resume!


And, here Liam, Stella and I taking advantage of the fact that this doesn’t happen everyday


Hattie applauds proudly from the sidelines. She was too young to ride.


The kids love Butter! Wonder how he’d feel about joining our backyard farm 😉


I love this photo of a proud little sister watching from afar


Here’s my gang on the pony rides


Even Hattie got in on the action this time!


Little Bear is cozy and sleepy at the farm


Let’s get a tree!!


Amongst the bevvy of beautiful trees ready to find a family!


We found our tree. She’s a beauty!


Stella being a tree hugger


Dad’s sawing down our new tree


Dad yelled “timber” as it fell


Daddy and his conquest


Now that’s my manly man!!


Carrying his tree or pine wig?


Bro and sis playing on the verge of choking!


Looking for a 2nd smaller tree for the kids…


A pic in front of Christmas train before we head home…


Back on board and guess who’s still sleeping?


Here’s where they put everyone’s tree to get them back to the station safely!


Here we are on the way back… What an amazing experience to share with your family. Now the whole family has such an investment in the tree they worked so hard getting. Can’t wait to get our trees home to decorate!!

Have you decorated your Christmas tree yet? If you have, upload pics to your profile page and leave the link in the comments below. I’d love to see how you’ve trimmed your tree!


  • Elloise Brady

    Looks like an amazing day! Here is the link to have a quick look at my Christmas tree Tori you inspire me to do so much more with my life and I thank you for that. Keep up the fantastic work! Xx

  • Michelle Neal

    You have such a wonderful family. I wish we could go to the Christmas tree farm here in Salina, KS (you know, a fly over state) but my mom has dementia and we can’t afford to have someone watch her so we will just buy one from the local store. I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. And if you have time say a prayer for rain. The drought is very serious and food prices will skyrocket next year. Hugs, Michelle

  • Amy Ballard

    We decorated our tree the week after Thanksgiving… Our Christmas tree is what I like to call a “sentimental” tree. It’s theme is not one of color or design, but one of handmade ornaments and others that we collect as a family – each having a special story. Like most moms, my most treasured ones are those that my children have made, but I also love my Waterford snowflakes! The kids each have their own Hallmark series that we add to each year as well as fun ornaments that they receive each year. When I married, my mom gave me all of my childhood ornaments to start my tree with and my husband’s mother did the same. The plan is to do the same for each of our three daughters.

  • Marlynn

    What a fun and memorable family time together! Your kids are just so adorable:) Boy, Liam looks just like his daddy, especially in that photo where dean is squatting by the tree looking up! Stella sure has Dean’s eyes and she looks like him too, but feminine. I think Hattie and Finn look alike quite a bit. What a beautiful family and thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with us:)
    I just had a pretty big surgery so we are behind, but we are decorating our tree this weekend hopefully! Have a merry Christmas!

  • Florida Girl

    What a lovely family and a wonderful way to make memories. Did that with my kids when we lived up north (no farm here in Florida) My kids still talk about it!!

  • Lori Kropf

    What a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing ��. We haven’t put up our tree yet. This time of year is crazy for our family. My daughters(15 and 14) dance at the Columbus Balletmet and they are in The Nutcracker. I’m a proud mama and love watching my daughters perform with the company ��. (It’s our 5th year).

  • Allison Mackewich

    I’m sure your tree will be beautiful! What a fun adventure you and your family had while finding your tree. Here is the link to our “mismatched scrapbook tree.”

  • Allison Mackewich

    Oops! That didn’t work! Sorry!

  • Clancy

    O-M-G-O-S-H! Way too cute! I can’t imagine having this experience and then getting on the train and you and your beautiful family were on it, too! Do you know how fun that was not only for your family but those who got to meet you? You and your family may have been the angels for the day to many. What a fabulous day and so much fun that you shared it with us! Merry
    Christmas T!

  • Cassandra Ferder

    What an amazing day with family; breath taking sights to see and the joy of Christmas — all of these combined — JACKPOT! Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  • Lauren Antia

    Loved seeing your photos! We have our tree up (it’s artificial though!)

  • Erin

    What a fun experience!!! LOVE all the photos, you have just the sweetest family.

  • desi

    Now that’s how you get a Christmas tree! What a fun day. That reminds me of how we used to do it when I was little. Except we would all go up a mountain with Daddy and we would pick it out and chop it down. Such good memories you are making with your kids!

  • Bebe

    Tori, if you are ever on the east coast during Christmas season, your family would surely enjoy Hershey, PA. When registering the kids for your trolley ride, they create a list of children on the trolley so that at one stop Santa gets aboard and gets out his list of boys and girls to give treats.(Our children’s eyes popped when they saw the list roll out and Santa called their names!) Touring the candy factory is a sweet treat! Everything in the town is decorated and there is the Hershey Hotel, which is wonderful. Nearby is a steam train to take you through the PA Amish country. Even though we have been to FAO Schwartz, ice skating in the snow at Central Park, and enjoyed the Rockettes’ Christmas Show at Radio City, Hershey continues to be the favorite.

  • Riagom

    I wish we had something like that here in Holland!! Wonderfull!

  • Elissa Lerma

    I grew up in Santa Paula! What a great place right?

  • Jenny Dart

    Blue and silver in honor of the baby boy we’re expecting!

  • Carol Conrad

    Oh Tori! That was wonderful! It brought back so many memories of my family and I going to a tree farm near Clarkston, Mi! We had so much fun tramping around and trying to find the perfect tree.
    One year Dad wanted to go out early, October, and we tagged a tree that would grow some more and be a perfect tree for Christmas. Mission accomplished. Come December our perfect tree looked like it had been growing around a twizzle stick! Mom declared it was not our tree! Dad declared it was-here was the tag!
    Dad cut the tree down and hauled it home.
    Oh! the trouble he had with the twizzle trunk tree! It wouldn’t stand straight in the stand! I think Dad sawed, stripped some boughs, said a few choice words and finally wired it to the molding around the front window!! It was a whole lot of trouble but it looked good!
    Those were the days!

  • Amber S. Wallace

    Our family loves driving up to the mountains here in North Carolina and picking out “The Wallace Tree” every year! Here are some photos from our yearly Christmas tradition…

  • Elizabeth Rosario

    What a beautiful family!! looks like a wonderful time and wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


  • Kate Champion

    My family had he same tradition, Christmas trees from tree farms! I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, so we went to San Dimas. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m so happy to have those memories!! My parents also had 17′ ceilings, which warranted tree farm trees. Now that my husband & I live in a condo, Home Depot serves us fine. Hoping we’ll have a newborn next Christmas to share the holiday!

  • Rebecca Lopez
  • atlanta01

    What a beautiful family and such wonderful photos! Wishing the entire McDermott family and Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

  • Riagom
  • Craig

    Wonderful pictures! I grew up in Santa Paula and have many fond memories of cutting down our Christmas tree there.

  • Mary Whoston

    I LOVE reading about your beautiful family. The pictures of your family cutting down your Christmas tree are just wonderful. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with your beautiful family!! :}

  • Jeanne Tutt

    so coool! what a nice family outting!

  • SugarTorch

    That looks like SO much fun! Your kids are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing with your fans. What wonderful Christmas memories you are creating for them. Magical.

  • MamaPaws

    Beautiful family! Sweet kids! Love the photos and I gotta point it out….. Baby Finn is looking more and more like tori, so cute. Look at those lips in pic 13, although he has deans eyes, pic 12. Looks like this place is a blast!

  • MamaPaws

    And he looks a lot like his slightly bigger sister lol! 3rd to last pic

  • Sayra Adams

    Looks amazing! We love trains, it would be amazing to go on one.
    Our tree:

  • Jenny Barrett

    You have such a cute family!!!!! Your children are absolutely adorable!!!! And I must say Tori, you look FABULOUS!!!! I can’t believe you had a baby less then 4 months ago :O!!!!!

  • Emily Beebe

    Wow…how fun!! We put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving!! Looking great, by the way!!

  • Shemaine Smith

    That place looks fantastic and you got some awesome photos! I would love to take my kids next year. Here is our tree

  • Melissa Skolly

    Love the pics tori!!! Happy holidays

  • Lemon Meringue

    Check out the very satisfied look in your husbands face, haha priceless! I think primal instincts got the better of him! Looks like a wonderful family outing, wouldn’t it be fun to run a farm like that?

  • Rhonda Lowery

    What a fun family time! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • Renee Duryee

    Hi Tori!!!

    I love that you and the gang went to a Christmas tree farm to cut down your tree for the holidays. I rememember doing the same thing when I was a kid with my family and loved it. Makes you really feel in the spirit and I bet the kiddos had a blast, especially the pony rides, too.

    PS…it was so great meeting you at your holiday party last weekend at InVentori! You are so sweet and I am so glad that we had a chance to talk! I look forward to visiting the store again soon and hopefully bumping into you again:)

    Happy Holidays to you and the family!



  • Suzanne Brown

    This is such a wonderful picTORIal I think it is my ALL time FAV! What a beautiful family you have and what wonderful memories you are creating with them! We live in Tulsa, OK and ride an Old fashion Christmas Train every year it is one of our favorite things to do we look forward to going to the old cowboy town of Dry Gulch USA every year! This place looks amazing. It is now on my list of places to go!!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Jackie C
  • Penny Morrow

    What a beautiful place, and family! They grow up so fast….cherish every second. Merry Christmas.

  • doreen porzio

    Wow, that place was MAGICAL!!! Could not believe the CAMELS!! That was a little unpredictable but well appreciated!! It looks like everyone had an AMAZING time!! I am just looking at these now!! I have been busy with the holiday Craze!! I did want to see this Christmas Tree hunt!! What a beautiful place!! Liam & Stella are getting so big & more Adorable than Ever!! They Loved their pony rides!! Hattie was so cute watching you from the side lines as you took your exquisite ride on the Camel!! Unbelievable!! Hattie & Finn are just so precious! They will be like Liam & Stella! Little buddies growing up! You couldn’t have done it any better!!..What a GREAT pic you got of DEAN and Finn!! This year Dean cut the tree down!!…. I have to tell you as I was putting my tree up, I couldn’t help but remembering the video you put on your site, of you sawing down the tree with Liam & Stella in the Tree Farm!! It made me smile & laugh! That was so cool & fun to watch!! You are an amazing woman girl!! So proud & happy for you! What a Gorgeous Family!! Have a Merry Christmas!! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!! What an amazing place!!…. And No, I don’t think that Dean would go for the Camel in the back yard!! Ha! Xoxo

  • Cammy Gollner

    Those are gorgeous pictures. Whoever took them did a great job capturing the day!

  • JellyBean

    Wonderful Pictures!!! Great Memories!!! Merry Christmas!!!”!””