Mister Charles bending down to saw the perfect tree
If you head down the back track from my childhood home you will happen upon a small pine plantation near an empty farm house. It was here that we would go each December looking for a tree, or more usually, a branch. Dad would head up the tree with a saw in hand (not advised, see note below) and we would all stand at the foot directing him to the best branch. At home, Mum would have the decoration box ready and we'd spend hours pulling out the old favourites and dressing the often spindly branches. The magic of Christmas starts with this ritual and the smell of pine needles always takes me back to the excitement that happens around a Christmas tree.
Since leaving home, I have had a small, plastic tree (pictured above) but this year I'm leaving it in its box hoping it will never resurface. New home, new tree. Last night, we finally had a chance to head out to a Christmas tree farm. A little different to my childhood treks for the perfect tree but just as fun. The first thing I noticed was the divine smell and the friendly faces of the proprietors. With a saw in hand and well-versed on the procedure, we strolled up and down the rows of trees looking for the perfect tree - a full shape but not too big. We spent more time there than all the kids (I think their parents were hurrying them on, needing to get home to work their way through a longer to-do list than ours). It was very exciting and felt like we were living out a scene from a corny Christmas movie! If you're yet to get a tree, I highly recommend a trip to a Christmas tree farm. I hope to make it a yearly pilgrimage.
We drove out to the friendly folks at:
Lot 319-391 Leakes Road, Rockbank, Victoria.
Phone: 03 9747 1078
Open 1st November to 24th December, 8am-8pm
Our tree this morning:
The decorations were purchased in past years from Bed, Bath and Table, Provincial Home Living, Country Road, Coles and Kmart.
A funny little anecdote and a word of warning: Don't try climbing up pine trees and cutting your own Christmas tree. My poor Dad ended up in a wheelchair one Christmas with sprained ankles due to the little ritual I mentioned above. God bless his sweet soul. From memory he felt the ladder move and knew he was about to fall. In a split second, he thought to toss the chainsaw as far away as he could. Thank goodness he remembered all of his kids were below him yelling up their opinion on which branch was best as he was sailing down. Don't ask me why anyone would climb a tree with a chainsaw in hand. The plees of six children might have something to do with it. That fateful Christmas was very possibly the last year we went "down the pines" looking for a tree. After that came the bought ones, so full and fluffy unlike the trees of old. As decandent as a scene from Home Alone with that little something missing :)