In the forest, the tree seemed a lot smaller compared to when we brought it inside. (Corey Bullock file)

In the forest, the tree seemed a lot smaller compared to when we brought it inside. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: The tale of the misfit Christmas tree

Let me tell you a little story. A tale of the 2020 Christmas tree.

Last Saturday I woke up really early, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I was excited because, well, today was the day we would get our Christmas tree.

Not just any tree, either. You see, we were going to cut down our very own Christmas tree from a nearby forest.

I think my excitement stemmed from feelings of nostalgia. When I was a kid, my whole family would don our snowsuits and go to the local tree farm on Derry Road to cut down a tree. I so looked forward to this tradition. I remember being absolutely freezing and walking into the warm barn afterwards to get a cup of hot chocolate or warm apple cider. I can still smell the inside of that barn. Apples and spices and yes, fresh trees!

We’d take our tree home and let it rest in the stand for a while. We’d put on Christmas carols and decorate the tree as a family. One ornament in particular that I always looked forward to putting on the tree was the Hershey’s mouse. It was a little mouse that was dressed up like a chef, holding a Hershey’s chocolate bar and some other accoutrement. I loved that particular ornament because my nickname as a kid was ‘mouse’.

Anyway, I digress. Saturday morning I managed to lull myself back to sleep. The sun wasn’t even up, we couldn’t very well look for a tree in the dark.

By the time 11 a.m. rolled around we were finally ready to go get our tree. I signed the permit (which can be found online, for free) and packed it in my bag. We headed to a nearby forest of Crown land that we knew had some very good potential for Christmas trees.

After about an hour of driving down the old dirt roads we came to a fork in the road. We stopped, decided to hang a Larry, and in the distance was a perfect patch of trees.

We turned off the truck and headed into the forest, determined. We kept finding more and more trees that were suitable until we came across the one. There it was, on the hillside, in all its glory. We made our way over, checked to make sure it was within the permit regulations, and cut it down. All the while the dogs were frolicking about and I was humming Christmas tunes. The only thing missing was snow.

We got it back to the truck and this is where the trouble began. We realized how truly mammoth this tree was. We decided that it was no big deal, we’d take it home and give it a trim; then it would be perfect.

Once home, we cut a few feet off the bottom, saving the branches for wreaths and garland. Then we set it up in the tree stand and gave it a little haircut.

Feeling pretty darn good about ourselves, we brought the tree inside. Yes, you guessed it, still too tall. Much too tall. Like three feet too tall. So, we cut some of the top off. This was also a mistake. Never cut the top. Now we have a poor tree chopped at both ends with a bad haircut.

“We should have just gone to Top Crop,” I said. That’s what we’ve always done and been happy to do. Their selection of beautifully farmed and cared for trees means you’ll always have the perfect one.

I was filled with regret. This poor tree that we took from its home in the forest stood, bare, in our living room like a giant Charlie Brown tree.

Trees sold at the grocery store or places like Top Crop are farmed specifically for putting up in your home at Christmas. As Phoebe in ‘Friends’ would say, they are fulfilling their Christmas destiny.

That said, over the past several days I have grown to be quite fond of our misfit tree. Now that it has lights and decorations it looks lovely, actually. It’s just not the ‘perfect’ tree we’re used to.

Also, no one will even see it. We can’t have friends or family come over, so who cares how lopsided it is, right?

It seems fitting that with 2020 being such a horrible year, we end it off with the worst tree we’ve ever had, too. But just like this year, we still manage to find the beauty in this tree. The memories we made getting it, the fact that it will be enjoyed in our warm, cozy farm house, and the fact that at the end of the day – it’s a symbol of nostalgia, love and light. Perfectly imperfect.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Our misfit Christmas tree is the perfect place to snuggle up with our pups. (Corey Bullock file)

Our misfit Christmas tree is the perfect place to snuggle up with our pups. (Corey Bullock file)

Just Posted

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

It happened this week in 1914

May 2 - 8: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read