Hi Sharon, hello Oliver - thank you, sweetie, those fudge brownies are my favourites!
After twelve years of decorating an artificial tree, my husband and I decided, last year, to revert to the real thing, they're environmentally friendly, helping to replenish the oxygen levels and absorbing carbon dioxide, and although an artificial tree can be used for several years, the noxious chemicals produced in their production do nothing to help the fight against global warming, and they are certainly not biodegradable like a real tree.
So, off we went to
Chesham Christmas Tree Farm
At the entrance is a full size Father Christmas. A little wooden fox greeted us as we went through the gate and we passed by the little workshop where animated elves were busy making the gifts for Christmas and preparing Christmas trees. (Although one seemed to have decided it was time for a mug of tea!)
The Farm uses two Shire horses. Thomas and Ambassador, who are working forestry horses. They are owned and trained by Steven Jones, who is a highly skilled forester based in Wales. Shire horses are a breed of horse used as draft animals on English farms for centuries. They are believed to be descended from English "Great horses" which were also used to carry armored knights in medieval times. The horses leave the fields in much better condition than modern tractors. Tractors running over the ground can damage the soil structure and reduce its fertility by compacting it. Horses weigh less than tractors and their hooves spread that weight over a larger surface area. As a result, even in wet weather, the field is not damaged by the use of the horses, and the farm tracks are left un-rutted. For each tree sold, another is planted, as it absortbs carbon dioxide and 'breathes' out oygen, each tree is helping reduce our collective carbon footprint.
At the end of the rows of trees was a corral where we made friends with one of the horses, unfortunately I'm not sure which one it was, but his companion was obviously taking his turn to carry back some trees.There are trees of many different varieties and sizes to choose from.
We chose a lovely, bushy little tree and while it was beeing 'netted,, we visited the Christmas Tree Farm shop. It was like a fairy land, with loads of beautiful ornaments and decorations - and close to the counter, a full size sleigh with a moving Santa, Reindeer and little fawn.
There were also woodland animals in various places around the shop, with twitching noses and paws, looking very realistic. They also sell things like magical reindeer food and special keys that only work for Santa, for houses with no chimneys.
Before I leave, do you know the legend of the Christmas tree? This legend comes down from the early days of Christianity:
In Britain, Saint Wilfred was a monk who was helping to spread Christianity among the Druids. One day he struck down a huge Oak tree, which in the Druid religiion was an object of worship.
As the tree fell to earth, it split into four, and from its centre grew a young Fir tree, pointing it's topmost branch towards the sky. The crowd gathered around the monk gazed in amazement.
Wilfred dropped his axe and turned to the watching people.
"This little tree shall be your Holy tree tonight," he said, "It is the sign of eternal life, for its leaves remain green all year round. See how it points toward the heavens. Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child. Gather round it, not in the wilderness but in your homes, surrounded with loving gifts and gestures of kindness." And so it is to this day. You can find out more about the Christmas Tree Farm, and how to care for your real Christmas tree HERE
Please be careful with your trees and decorations and take care nothing can catch fire.
Have a wonderful and safe Christmastime and a very Happy New Year!
Lovely story, Lyn. Thank you for sharing. Oops, here comes Oliver, not about to let Lyn leave without a proper kiss! Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!