1. Gather your favorite people (and a saw)
2. Find a great tree farm (in our case, Moose Apple Christmas Tree Farm)
3. Search and search until you find the right one
4. Gently saw at the trunk
5. Tie it to the roof of your car, drive home, feed and walk dog, find all the decorations, lights, and tree stand, trim it to fit in the stand, agonize about overzealous trimming of lower branches, install lights, realize that you have less lights than you thought because you threw some lights away last year because of some reason you can't remember, trim more branches to fit santa on top, untangle hooks, keep family focused on hanging all the decorations, fix dinner, task kids to build lighted village under tree, vacuum stray needles and branches in carpet...and...compete!