Christmas Tree Trimming Contest

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I’m writing an article on family tree-trimming traditions and want to feature your stories!

Tell me what you and your family do to make putting up the Christmas fun and memorable and you could win one of three jars of Farm to Table Habanero Hurt hot sauce — made from peppers just harvested from our property.

Have you ever cut your own tree?  What kind of special decorations do you and your family have?  Any special treats that you serve while you trim the tree?  Do you have holiday decorating parties?  I want to know.

Contest ends this Thursday, October 11th at 4pm.  You can either leave your story in the comment section, below, or email me at donald(at)ptbolocalfoods(dot)ca.

I hope to hear from you.

6 Replies to “Christmas Tree Trimming Contest”

  1. It started 7 years ago…the same year I moved to Peterborough. I had moved here on my own, with my two kids, who were 2 and 4 at the time. I was determined to have a great Christmas, and do all the things I dreamed of doing before I had a family of my own. So, off we drove to the Christmas Tree farm outside of Peterborough, to cut down our own Christmas Tree. I was determined to hike to the farthest corner of the farm, to make it seem like a real adventure. I hadn’t counted on the wind, or the chill that was present on that day. As soon as we started, the tears came. From both kids. I wasn’t going to let a few tears stop me from this grand adventure. Off I kept walking, with the two kids crying and walking behind me, plopping themselves down in the snow declaring they could go no further, but eventually we got into a thick of trees where the wind wasn’t as bad. It took us a long time to find the right tree – we went from patch to patch, and each time, the kids said they wanted to leave. But I wanted the perfect tree. I think Cole found it. He was pretty excited. We cut it down with the wood saw, and Cole tried his best to help. But Ella had enough. She was going to have no part of it, and started to really cry. We had to make it back to the car, which was pretty far away. I had Ella on my hip, the tree on my other hip, and Cole trying to help by carrying the tip of the tree, which actually made it harder for me. Oh, and the saw…I am not sure which hand I had it in, the hand with Ella, or the hand with the tree. I tell you, when we made it back to the car, and I had it tied on top…I felt like I had conquered an amazing feat. A Tim Horton’s hot chocolate had the kids forgetting about all their tears, and the tree was truly beautiful when we put it up, and decorated it. We have gone back to that tree farm every year since in search of the perfect tree, and we always find it. Yes, there have been more tears – but not last year! Last year we talked about the ‘remember when we used to come here and you used to cry?’ stories. Traditions, already. Exactly what I wanted.

  2. Kendall,

    What a beautiful story!

    Bittersweet, but definitely more sweet than bitter.

    I’m definitely using at least parts of it, if I have your OK. I may shorten it a tad — the article isn’t that long. But the main gist of it, definitely.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. The Christmas my daughter was 10, I decided to revive the tradition of cutting the family tree at the cottage as my father had done with me for so many years. I borrowed his pruning saw( which I only discovered after I got home cut on the pull not the push) and bundled my daughter, her 2 year old brother and an old toboggan into the car and set off for the lake.

    We stopped at the same farmers field that dad and I had cut so many trees from and started our treck. Too thin, bald on one side – not full enough ..back through the fields we walked searching for that perfect tree.

    Finally about 3 fields back my daughter found the one she wanted. It looked perfect , nice and full on all sides. I took the saw and began to cut. and cut, and cut, and cut and cut.
    Convinced I could chew through that trunk faster than the saw seemed to cut I pushed the snow away with my bare hands to see if I could discover the problem.

    My first clue that the tree might be a tad bigger than we needed should have been the fact that the trunk was close to a foot in diameter but by that point I was so glad my daughter had finally settled on one I ignored that ominous sign and kept cutting.

    Finally the tree was down but a new dilemma presented itself. How to drag the tree and the toboggan ( which now contained both my daughter and son) back the more than 3 fields to where we parked the car.

    Determined to get kids and tree out I dragged the toboggan to the edge of the field then walked back to do the same with the tree. I repeated this process several times for each of the 3 fields we had wandered back wondering why I hadn’t thought of this and settled for the tree in the first field that was after all, only bald on one side.

    Finally cold and wet we reached the car, I looked at the tree lying on the road beside the car and at the back of the station wagon realizing for the first time that the tree was considerably larger than the back of the wagon and it would have to be tied to the roof. This meant securing the fullness that I had so admired back in the field with the string I had brought so after carefully tying the branches in against the trunk, I heaved the heavy tree onto the roof tying it down with the scarves we had worn and praying they would hold for the trip back to town, Hold they did and we finally pulled into the driveway.

    The tree was removed from the car roof and lost a few branches going through the door that hadn’t seemed that narrow when we left in the morning. Leaving it tied up I made 3 tries at cutting the trunk straight then gave up and stood it in the stand anyway. Of course, it promptly fell over.

    On the third attempt it stood with a bit of assistance from the wire off the wreath on the front door and two or 3 bits of ribbon stolen from the few Christmas presents that had been wrapped early, Secured to the wall with 3 nails ( we could fill the holes latter and it needed paint anyway) the tree stood in the middle of the living room window .

    I cut the string holding back the fullness and the branches dropped, The living room instantly disappeared as did my 2 children who had been seated on the sofa, I could hear my 2year old son crying but all I could see was tree, The coffee table, the sofa and the path through to those pieces of furniture had disappeared in a sea of green.

    I climbed over the bannister and dropped down to the cellar stairs, coming up on the other side ( a less than ideal way to cross the living room) and gathered the kids into the car/

    After dinner at a fast food establishment renowned for the toys it gave with meals I took the children to see their grandparents a block from our house. While they happily played with their grandma my father and I went to my house to deal with the monster tree.

    We rearranged the living room, tied the tree up and put it back on the car. We took it to the tree lot where we had bought our trees other years and explained the situation. The kind owner ( once he wiped his eyes and stopped laughing as I told him what I had done) graciously traded my oversized jumbo tree for one that would fit in my living room and even threw in one for my parents house chuckling that the two combined weren’t as big as our trade in. He assured us that he had people who wanted big trees like that and would have no trouble selling it. We wished him a Merry Christmas and headed home..

    The kids came home just as I was hanging the final strand of lights on the replacement tree. Ohhhhhh mom ! I told you it would be beautiful my daughter exclaimed. My son stood mesmerized saying nothing. It’s perfect my dad commented winking as he passed me an ornament. Now let’s get this tree done. .

    The tree was beautiful and we’ve laughed about our “Christmas Vacation”Christmas many times over the years. The cottage is now gone and the field is now overgrown with hardwoods but the memories of our ” old fashioned family Christmas” remain to be brought out and smiled over year after year and of course the movie has become a family tradition to be watched together when we gather for the holidays.

    My son and daughter are grown now and my daughter has her own family. At Thanksgiving this year, she mentioned something about cutting down a live Christmas tree . I have just the saw for her to use.

    1. Christmas vacationer,

      I’ll need your name and contact info for the hot sauce draw — and to put in the magazine story.

      Can you email me at the address in the contact section of the site?


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