This year instead of buying a Christmas tree, we decided to get a 'wild' tree. Each year KCWildlands sponsors a Christmas Tree cut. They chose a spot which has been invaded by red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), which though native to the KC area, has a nasty habit of taking over grasslands, especially in the absence of fire. People can then come out and cut down a tree for free or a donation. It is a nice system - people in need can get a tree for free and KCWildlands gets help clearing out an area that needs attention.
It was fun trying to pick out the perfect tree, or well, if not perfect, then one that was good enough. We finally decided on one and then we just had to saw it down.
We loved our cedar tree. Though the needles were not soft, the branches held ornaments well. Plus, we knew we had done the environmentally right thing by getting a tree locally instead of one that had been shipped across the country.