December 11, 2012

Keeping It Real (Christmas Tree Tradition)

Every year since my son was a little boy, in the beginning of December we would drive to Clembrook Christmas farm, wander through a field in search for the perfect tree, cut it down with a bow saw, wrap it carefully and tighten it up on top of the car. Then, we would visit the charming display of vintage Christmas decoration and antique horse carriages in the barn, engage in a small talk with the friendly owners, drink hot chocolate and cider around a bonfire and if there is snow, we would go tobogganing. Once home, my husband would recut 1/4 inch of the bottom of the trunk and fill the stand with water to help with keeping the Christmas tree fresh. My son and I would eagerly wait the procedure to end because next is the real fun part, decorating the tree!
Choosing and cutting our own Christmas tree is a cherished family tradition that's been deeply rooted. My husband and I, both, grew up celebrating Christmas with a freshly cut evergreen tree. Not that we are truly traditionalists, but an artificial tree has never been our preferable choice of making the season festive, despite the strive to make life easier. We believed that cutting your Christmas tree can be an unforgettable experience, the same one that exists on vintage Christmas cards, classic Christmas stories and memories from the past. Most importantly, today, in the age of environmental awareness, we are convinced that Christmas tree farms benefit the environment.

You probably know that:
(some of these facts are written on the tag price on the Fraser Fir Christmas tree we bought)

Buying a real Christmas tree does not deplete the forest. Christmas tree are a crop just like any other agricultural product. It is like buying food or fibre products and in the case of trees, they are completely recyclable.

Many trees are planted on marginal land that otherwise would be subject to erosion.

One acre of Christmas trees produce enough oxygen to support 18 people in a year.

Real Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.

Christmas tree farms are havens for wide variety of wildlife species.

Christmas trees provide a large amount of employment, from the growers to the farm hands as well as in related industries such as transpiration, equipment supply and retail sales.

The fact close to my heart is that North American real Christmas trees are grown in all states of America and Canada while 80% of all artificial trees are manufactured in China.

There is a lot more to read about the benefits of choosing a real Christmas tree on the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association website as well as Ontario Farm Grown Christmas Trees.

On our annual trip to the farm this weekend, speaking with the host Mr. Clements, we learned that the Christmas tree farmers of North America are working to create a National Christmas Tree Day which is set for December 8 this year. It is their way to remind us of the beauty of the Christmas tree tradition and one established  fact that a visit to the tree farm bonds families together.

                          Dear friends, did you cut down your own trees as a kid, or do you now?
                           What are your thoughts on real and artificial Christmas trees?


  1. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest in America...only the real deal here!
    The best of Christmas blessings to you and your family!

  2. Wonderful tradition and a delightful blog post, Sylvia! I have not cut mine yet, but will probably head out into the forest next weekend with my trusty bow saw to find a tiny Christmas tree.
    Enjoy decorating yours!

  3. What a beautiful post with great barn photos and lovely trees all ready to be chosen for someone's home. We used to have a real tree for the first 4 years of our married life but our son had severe allergies and asthma so we had to go the artificial route. Even though he is now 31 and doesn't live at home we still use an artificial tree for convenience sake. It does look quite real though. :) And our son? He goes to the tree farm up the road and cuts a real one! Allergies? :) I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Blessings, Pamela

  4. We have always had a real locally grown tree too and just finished decorating ours tonight.

    Great post!

  5. What a wonderful, heartwarming story. I really loved it. Growing up we always had a real tree. It was so exciting as a child going to pick it out with my parents. The smell of a real tree will always remind me of happy holidays at home with my family : )

    Danielle xo

  6. Good morning beautiful Sylvia! I BELIEVE IN REAL TREES and we used to have one every year in my childhood. But in my 30 years of marriage, we started off with never having a tree (we lived in cramped quarters as students) and now have resorted to a small white artificial tree. But I am a believer of multi-sensory experience and the SMELL of the greens is so important. I can't afford those however, but I would prefer to have greenery in my home!

    You make everything so lovely my dear one....Anita

  7. Joining our dear sister Anita here!
    Beautiful Sylvia...I really cannot have the season without a real tree...the scent and the "living" aspect of it makes me so happy...
    Thank you for this confirms this choice even more!
    As a girl (by the sea :), we always had natural trees...and lots of clementines!
    Enjoy, dear friend...
    Much love to you,
    - Irina

  8. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Dear Sylvia,
    As always, I adore the journey you take me on when I visit your blog/photos/ words.
    I've only ever known of 'real trees' in my childhood home, and now. I love walking around a tree lot (with my kids) looking for 'the perfect tree.' And part of Christmas for me is the smell of evergreen.
    I must say . . . the tree in your first photo is simply, adorable. I looked for a tree just like that one this year, but had no success. It's shorter, squatty nature looks so natural. I love it!
    I wish you and your family a holiday filled with peace and love and happiness.
    With Love,


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