Every now and then, as I look at our Christmas tree, I feel a pang of guilt for cutting down a live tree. It kind of makes me feel how I imagine I’d feel with a trophy deer’s head on my wall. And then I remember that this tree was grown lovingly by local farmers, who cared for it year after year, who didn’t apply harmful chemicals to it, and who happily parted with it once it was chosen for our home. Our tree grew up in a lovely environment with yearly visits from families and children searching for the just-right-tree for their homes.
Our children helped to cut this tree down with determination and honour, cheerfully decorated it’s branches with ornaments and placed carefully wrapped gifts below it’s boughs. Our tree brought wonder and delight, light and cheer into our home over the holidays and we paused often to appreciate it. I’m excited to make sure that it’s life goes on after we take it down this week and make use of it for hand-crafting and tea-making. We’ll dry the needles for teas and use the wood for various projects. What’s left will be taken to the city tree chipping program.
Probably the best part of getting our tree, though, was the community around it. The couple who run the tree farm are such a warm and wonderful duo, offering up tea and cocoa, hotdogs and marshmallows to roast over the fire they light for their guests. Len spent time walking the rows, hemming and hawing along with us as we debated which tree was the right one for our home. Our boys brought candy canes and hid them in the trees for the next group to find and were delighted when another family showed up with two young boys who ran back into the trees to find the canes we told them were hidden for them.
Getting a tree has truly become so much more than plunking a tree in our living room and then tossing it in the new year. There is so much warmth to it, so much joy. For now, we’ll continue this tradition and thank our conifer friends for blessing our home, our bodies and our spirits each year!