Chapter 7: A PEI Christmas Tree Farm; in Pursuit of the Perfect Tree

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A frosty snow covered country road.                                        Photo: ELR

“It lifts existence on a plane of snow

One level higher than the earth below,

One level nearer heaven overhead,

And last year’s berries shining scarlet red.”

“A Winter Eden”  – by Robert Frost

Early to mid December marks the time in most households in P.E.I. to gather the family for a frosty outing to your favorite tree farm or tree lot, to choose the “perfect Christmas tree”.

Heading out to find the perfect Christmas Tree.                                         Photo: ELR

This tree farm in Cape Bear near Beach Point, P.E.I. does not have the traffic like most urban tree lots. The owner is a humble man, who remembers each customer’s Christmas tree preferences intimately. I suspect grooming the perfect tree for his customers is a ‘labor of love’, and nearing that magical time for Christmas tree hunting, you can be assured your tree is ready and waiting. It doesn’t get fresher than this!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Outfitted with hat, scarves, mittens and wool socks, we loaded our 4×4 truck with saws, ropes and an axe. There was a light snow falling and the ground cover was spectacular. The sun was working hard to burn through the frosty haze as we drove over the snowplowed country roads.

Christmas Tree farm

Mr. Jordan expertly cut down a huge tree for us.                                                          Photo: ELR

Our wait wasn’t long. Bumping over the snow covered road, a pickup truck rumbled along. Mr. Jordan stepped out, proudly sporting a nifty chainsaw. I was ready for a lengthy trek through the woods, secretly hoping it would take a while as the scenery was breathtaking! Listening intently to my description of the ‘perfect tree’, Mr. Jordan, led us in a procession through snow laden branches, all the while chatting about his trees. Within a matter of minutes, he led us to…the perfect tree! It shouldn’t have been this easy, especially when I was prepared to look at various trees from various angles. The temperature within our snowy cocoon of trees had dropped significantly. Not wanting to stretch our host’s patience, we all agreed on a 15 foot spruce. Out here on the tree farm, a Christmas tree can be substantially dwarfed by the tall coniferous trees surrounding it!

the perfect tree

The perfect Christmas tree.                                                                                Photo: ELR

It was a bit of a struggle loading this green giant onto the bed of our pickup. While this chore was being expertly executed, what would a snowy outing like this be without some horsing around. One of my ‘tree hunting’ accomplices was about to come face to face with a snow bank!

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A little horsing around. Photo; ELR

On our way home, we took a short drive down to the Beach Point lighthouse for no other reason than a photo op on the beach with snow drifts mingled with sand. The wind was strong and the air a little frostier by the water, but it was well worth the trip.

Christmas Tree farm Beach Point

Beach Point Lighthouse                       Photo:  ELR

Rewind 50 years:

Photo: google search: Janie and Harry MacLean in their box sleigh led by a horse named Doll. Clyde River.

As a young child, my most favorite part of Christmas was riding along in the back of a box sleigh with our horse puffing giant clouds of steam out of its mouth. My Dad in his ‘parka’ would stand at the front of the sleigh nudging our faithful horse through the deep snow (and it seemed deeper back then) on the way to the woods behind our house. ********************************************************************************************* After a few hours of shaking snow off branches and fingers and toes growing numb from the cold, we would settle on the family Christmas tree. The trees were never perfect in shape, but to a child in the woods surrounded by nature’s bounty, every tree looked perfect. The scent of a freshly cut fir tree is second to none. On the way back to the house my sister and I would stare at the tree in awe…it looked so big taking up most of the room in the back of the sleigh. The tree did not disappoint. Decorated with a menagerie of ornaments handed down over the years, the tree was the focal point of our Christmas décor.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Christmas in the Country.                                                                                     Photo: ELR

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