10 December 2006

Christmas begins at Apple Jack Creek

We started our holidays today: we got our tree!

The guys went tromping around our land to see if there were any candidate trees available, but there was not a pine tree in sight. There was, of course, three feet of snow everywhere they tried to walk, so they were quite tired by the time we decided to head over to the Crown land nearby. We did find a great tree there, and Union Guy used his chainsawing skills to cut it down.

Once the tree was cut, we loaded it onto The Boy's sled and he towed it down the road to the house while Union Guy and I found a smaller tree for his house in town.

We have a 12' tree for our living room! It's huge!

We got the nice heavy tree stand my sister gave me and set the tree in it. About 20 minutes later, it tipped over! Nothing was damaged - I suspect the tree stand just isn't designed for trees quite this tall. This meant we needed a taller alternative: after some pondering and examination of what we had to hand, we stuck the tree in Mom's heavy old pickle crock, with rocks in the bottom for weight and chunks of firewood wedged around the trunk to hold the tree upright. It worked quite well, and will certainly hold lots of water.

For the first time in my life I had to stand on a ladder to decorate the tree! Union Guy had to put the star on the top - even on the ladder I couldn't reach.

Our Christmas trees are always covered in snow, even indoors. It's a family custom: Ivory Snow flakes - the original kind that are pure soap - make snow. Beaten up with water, the soap reaches a consistency like whipped cream, and you spread it on the tree branches. When it dries, it looks like there is snow piled on your tree! It's just not Christmas without a tree with snow.

We now have the tree completely decorated, with a Lego train running around the base, and presents piled around it.

I love this season.

You can see pictures of our day (including my first time using the chainsaw) on our
photo gallery.


  1. Anonymous7:36 pm

    Well this part of the family no longer puts soap snow on a tree. Can't remember when we last did that. Have gone downhill over the years !! to a 4 ft. artificial one. Goes up around Christmas eve and comes down close to boxing day...I seem to be approaching Scrooge
    status !! Auntie S.
    PS yours looks lovely !! Large but lovely

  2. Hey Auntie S! I got your Christmas card yesterday - thank you so much!

    Last year we still lived in our shed at Christmas time, and had no real 'house' of our own. We helped Union Guy with his tree, but didn't have one of our own. No snow. First Christmas in living memory without it. I promised The Boy then that next year, he could have a great big tree and we'd go all out. You see the results here!

    I can't believe how much I enjoy country life. I would never have expected it of myself!

  3. Anonymous1:29 pm

    Woah...how many bowls of soap did that take? Cool tree. Good thing The Boy is getting so big!

    We don't have a tree...yet. There are fake ones in some of the stores, but no live trees. Apparently they will show up. I think a lot of people set them up Christmas Eve (which isn't actually Christmas Eve here, it is a different holiday), and I don't think they bother to keep them around until Chinese New Year! We'll see...I brought a tiny zippie of soap, so if all else fails we can buy greenery at the market.

  4. Anonymous1:40 pm

    Fun! Fun! Fun!! The two things that would be BIG treats for us Texans is cutting down our own tree and "snowing" a real tree!! Enjoy every minute of it for us!!

    Love, AC & UT

  5. It took about four big mixing bowls full of snow - we went all out. :D And I didn't feel like climbing down into the crawl space to get the electric mixer, so they were beaten up with a hand cranked blender, too!

    AC, you Texans should come up for a visit next Christmas - we can go out in the bush with the chainsaw and cut a tree and decorate it! You could get family "pictures in the snow" to hang next to the "baby in the bluebonnets" photos!


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