It was the first weekend in December which meant it was time to head to the mountains to cut down a Christmas Tree! My siblings and I have such good memories of doing this as children with our parents in freezing Northern Alberta and it’s a tradition I’m trying to start with my family.
The plan was to go Sunday morning before the predicted snow rolled in but when everyone woke up, my stepson Ace was extremely sick and didn’t want to leave the couch. Ryan and I talked about what to do; I didn’t want to wait two more weeks until the next weekend we had the kids, and I really wanted it to be a family thing.
We came to the only conclusion possible- the girls would go out and play lumberjack! Ryan Jr. and I hit the road with ropes and saws, ready to find a Christmas Tree.
It takes a little over an hour to get to the Castle area where my permit was valid to cut a tree, and she and I had a good time chatting away for most of the trip. When we pulled in, there were 4 or 5 other cars and I was really hoping I was in the right spot for tree cutting. It was the perfect day, sunny and only -5C, so we tramped off into the woods to find out tree.
We meandered for a bit and I swear I stopped to take photos every couple of seconds. The mountain air sent my spirits soaring and all I could think was “I am meant to be out in snow.” I say it all the time, I’m a December baby so snow runs through my veins. Ha ha!
We were walking along a path and Ryan said she wanted to cross the creek and look for a tree. I told her that might not work because we would have to drag it back over but she was pretty insistent. We crossed the creek and sure enough- Ryan pointed out the perfect tree very shortly afterward.
We each took one end of the saw and pushed it back and forth until the tree came down. Then came the fun of trying to tie up all the branches. This entire time I was grinning from ear to ear feeling like a million bucks. By now, Ryan was cold and she wanted to hurry up the process and get back to the car.
Once it was bundled, I had the fun of dragging it through the woods to the edge of the creek. Once at the creek, Ryan step lightly across the slippery stones and I followed, dragging our tree through the creek! It was seriously ridiculous and I was laughing the entire time.
Once we got back to the path, we tied a couple of ropes around the trunk and each of us put the rope to shoulder and pulled the tree to the car. I was huffing and puffing and my weak arms were shaking. Time to hit the gym when this student teaching game is over!
I did not want to tie the tree to the roof and then drive the 100k or so back home worried that it might fly off. I was able to put the seats down and Ryan and I stuffed that darn tree in the car with the top going between the driver and passenger seat. But it worked!
The clouds had rolled in while we were cutting and by the time we started driving, the predicted snow had hit. I took it a little longer because I went slower on the slick roads and Ryan asked “Can you get a fake tree next year so we don’t have to do this every year?” Wah-wa-wa! It took the wind out of my sails a little that she didn’t have a great time. But darn it I’m trying to create some family memories! So we will be doing this every year regardless of enthusiasm. Ha ha ha!
The tree turned out perfect. I love a natural tree with “holes” in the branches and an uneven slope. I keep it simple with just lights and bulbs.