Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Tree Hunting

One of the pleasures of the season for our family is getting out into the bush to look for a Christmas Tree. This event seems to be the official start to our winter season celebration. This year we were a bit earlier than usual because the younger generation has taken over, They like to set their tree up at least a couple weeks before Christmas. I preferred to do it a couple days before the celebration. Yesterday we left home before the late sun even began to show some sign of getting up. By the time we drove the two hour to Michael and Ann's home the light was just about as bright as it was going to get today. It barely climbed above the tree tops before settling back down for a long winter night. We drove another hour to the forest that had been replanted after being logged off, and replanted, maybe 15 years ago. The lodgepole pine grows very thick, too thick to be healthy so it really doesn't hurt to cut a few down, we call it thinning, something Mother Nature does on her own in her own time. We even try to cut the tree at least a couple or three feet above the ground and the pine tree will continue to grow.

Michael with too big a saw with his tree choice

Erica and Friend Riley

The first thing we do after scouting the location is to gather some dry fire wood and build a bonfire. It was about -12 so was not too cold but there is a comfort in a campfire. It is the central gathering spot for everyone to warm chilled fingers and toes.
We all spread out, scouting our choice of trees. Some people prefer White Spruce but I have always been partial to the bushy pine tree. The men went first, then the women to make the final approval. The quads towed the sleigh full of kids down the cutline to the chosen tree. Everyone has a say and an opportunity to protest before the final tree is picked and cut down, after all, we all have to live with it in our home for the next month or so. 
Once the tree is picked we all head back to the campfire for a celebratory glass of rum and eggnog and a meal, today consisting of rice and meatballs with beans and wieners roasted on sticks. Kids all get juice or pop and whatever they choose to munch on. Pretty soon, as the sun quickly slips behind the tree tops we start packing up for the journey home. Chilly fingers get warmed over the dying campfire, rosy cheeks and frosted toes are all part of a winter day in the bush laughing, family and friends, joy, tales and memories.

Beer, friends, campfire and laughs

Young Pine Forest
 Merry Christmas to everyone. We look forward to the rest of the holiday season with anticipation of more family time, fun, food, a bit to drink, a Christmas to remember for our selves, but most of all for our kids and grand

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