Every year since my son was a little boy, at 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 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 for 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 true 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 is a crop just like any other agricultural product. It is like buying food or fiber 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 produces 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 a 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?