Over the years, we have put a lot of thought into what kind of Christmas tree, if any, to get. You can read more about our decision making process and some of the options we’ve explored in a recent post, The Great Christmas Tree Dilemma.
This year’s tree, however, fell into place quite serendipitously. We waited longer than usual to get our tree – the plan was to get it during the third week of Advent – the week of plants. We missed that and by the time we called the local shop that stocks locally grown pesticide-free trees, they were sold out. I did a quick search online at a site I had already visited earlier in the season, and this time found another place offering pesticide-free trees. They had just listed their farm a few days before our call and were just starting out with offering their trees for sale.
Eden Ridge farm is run by a lovely couple in a town just under an hour from our home. We all had such a wonderful time there with them, getting to know them a bit, snowshoeing to choose the perfect tree and cut it down with a little lesson from Dad on how to cut it well, and visiting around the fire. Our hosts brought out sticks and marshmallows and herbal tea to add to the merriment.
After it was all said and done, I realized that this adventure was a perfect fit for the final week of Advent, though it was unintentional. The fourth week of Advent is the light of humankind. The way this couple welcomed us to their home, shared a bit of their life with us, and created such a special experience brought more light into our lives.
With the tree strapped to the roof of our van, we drove home, and set the tree right into place in its little house – a family heirloom crafted by my grandfather. Pine cone angel ornaments were made, decorations were divvied up, and hung on the branches. A couple little boys curled up under the tree as soon as it was in it’s house. There is really something magical about having a real tree. Hopefully in the near future, someone will offer potted trees to replant, which would be just that much better. For now, we’re happy to support the few local growers here who grow trees without pesticides, who truly care for their trees and the earth, and who hope to build community by offering up their place to visitors. There are plans in the works to visit in the summer, to learn more about the work involved in growing the trees, as the kids made fast friends with the owners.