Greg has always wanted a real christmas tree but I would never commit to it because since we have moved to Calgary 11 years ago, we have gone back home for Christmas every single year. I didn’t want to come home to see my house full of needles. Last year, we were watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation like we do each holiday season. It was Finley’s first time and she LOVED it and she wanted nothing more then to re-create her own Christmas Vacation experience minus a few details of course haha. So I came up with a solution where we both got what we wanted: We would start alternating Christmas’ spent at home and in SK and the years we stayed home, we would get a real life Christmas tree cut down by our own very hands.
So, last weekend we headed out to cut down our christmas tree. There are two options to do this legally in our area: you can buy a permit online for $5 and you can cut down up to 3 trees and designated crown land or you can go to some crown land that is leased to the Junior Forest Wardens and pay them $5 and cut down one tree. This is a big fundraiser for the program and they replant trees here so it’s also sustainable. It’s located just off highway 1 and take the Sibbald Creek Trail exit and head south until you get to the Powderface Trail and turn t here and take that to the area. That’s what we chose to do.
While we waited for Uncle Brad to come, we walked around the perimeter looking at trees. We all loved the Charlie Brown-esque trees but knew we had to keep on looking.
Penelope was miserable the entire drive from home to the lot and complained as much as she could about not wanting to cut down any trees and why couldn’t we just stay home but she was so enthusiastic when we got there. She couldn’t wait to get going and finding that perfect tree.
There was lots and lots of looking. Coming across a perfect tree can be deceiving because it might look great surrounded by trees but I learned that they don’t look as perfect when you move the trees away from said perfect tree. It was a lot harder then I thought it would be finding the perfect tree.
And then I found this tree. Yes me! I was the one who found our christmas tree. All 4 of us agreed that it was the perfect tree for our first tree cutting down experience.
Greg sawed it a little first and then Finley had her turn. I took a turn and both held a saw and tried cutting down a tree for the first time in my life. I shared a photo of myself doing this on my Instagram page if you are interested in seeing it.
At first Penelope just wanted to eat her snow pies but eventually she decided that she wanted to try cutting down the tree too.
Eventually Greg had cut enough that it began to fall down. This process took a lot longer then i had anticipated but you are certainly limited when you are carrying saws and stuff with you into the wilderness instead of having an arsenal of tools at home.
Once it fell to the ground, Greg and Finley cut it so that it was suitable for our house. The rule is you must cut 12 inches from the ground to encourage re-growth.
And right beside our tree, we found the perfect tree for Andrea and her family so Brad cut that one down too for her.
Greg and the girls grabbed our tree and carried it down to Brad’s truck.
We didn’t want to put the tree on our vehicle since it is fairly new and we didn’t want to risk scratching it up. It comes in handy having a brother in law with a truck. He delivered it back to our house for us.
The junior wardens also have a bon fire and a little stand selling hot chocolate, hot dogs and chilli which was the perfect way to end our tree cutting experience. They operate every weekend starting in November. It’s a great way to support a local program and enjoy the experience of cutting down your own tree. Our kids LOVED it.
When we got back to our house and go the Christmas tree into our house, we realized that it was still too tall despite all we left behind at the forest.
So Greg with some assistance from Brad managed to keep trimming it until it fit perfectly in our tree corner on our main floor.
Soon we were able to decorate it. What we didn’t do was buy lights for the tree since both our fake trees are pre-lit so we (mainly me) picked from the lights that we had in the garage and I picked these. And I hated them. But I had zero interest in taking all the decorations off the tree to put new lights on so these will have to do for now. I also had to go buy garland from Michaels to fill in the gaps. I hate garland but I found the nicest stuff I could find for a good price. You can’t see the garland in this post but if you come back on Tuesday, you will find a post with all of the trees currently in our house :)