When I was growing up, my family did the fake tree thing. So, the extent of the annual tree-setting up ordeal was dragging the thing down from the attic and then putting it together. We had an old school some-assembly-required tree, so it was a great learning activity for a kid-- I remember sitting on the floor of the family room, grabbing one branch at a time and matching the color on the end of each branch to the color of the holes on the wooden "trunk."
The past couple years I branched out (pun intended) in my Christmas tree experience and went with a friend to walk up and down the aisles of real trees at Home Depot, pick out the perfect specimen, sweet talk the guy working the tree department into helping us lash it to the car, and then drag it inside and set it up. This year I added another layer of experience when Travis and I went with friends to a Christmas tree farm out in Harvard, IL to help them choose, cut down, bring home, and set up their tree. While certainly the most involved ordeal, I found that trudging through the snow and weaving through the rows of firs and pines in search of a well formed tree of the appropriate height and girth has a certain charm to it. After we (and by "we" I mean Travis and Alex) had cut down the winning tree and secured it to the roof of the Jeep, we (and here by "we" I mean the 4 of us) went for a cold and bumpy "sleigh" ride to cap off our time in the tree farm's winter wonderland.