The Joy of a Real Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Norway 2

A real Christmas tree! (Photo:


Comment by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

What is Christmas without a real Christmas tree? Preferably of spruce or silver fir, but pine is also acceptable. I have to admit that I have respect for those who follow the tradition and in the dark of night sneak into the woods and “borrow” a tree that just stands there waiting to be retrieved.  

In my eyes, it is not acceptable to buy an imported Danish tree. After all, Norwegian forests cover 37 percent of Norway’s vast land area with 47 percent spruce and 32 percent pine – which means millions of ownerless Christmas trees.

When I was a child my grandpa and I went out to a secret place to retrieve a tree that he already early in the spring had chosen. We strapped on our skis and grandpa had a big bow saw hanging over his shoulder. He led the way while I followed in his tracks.

The old, wise man went into a strange mood when we arrived at the clearing with the tree that lay bathed in the glow of the moon. Soon, the sound of the saw was the only thing that broke the silence.

When he had sawed off the trunk and shook the snow off the branches, he put it in the snow in front of me and asked me to stroke my fingers across the needles.

– Feel! Silver fir … the needles are soft as velvet.

He almost whispered. I took off one of my home-knitted mittens and felt the most beautiful Christmas tree I had ever seen, although the missing branches at the bottom of one side had been camouflaged by the deep snow. The smell of resin and cold smelled almost as good as grandma’s Christmas cookies.

Today, about half of all Norwegians buy artificial Christmas trees. According to the industry, it is particularly people under the age of 30 who prefer green plastic with preassembled LED lights in all colors and varieties.

I of course understand all the benefits of artificial Christmas trees: They are easy to assemble, easily stored away and resurrect next Christmas.

They have become cheaper than real Christmas trees and often come with a stand and lights. Moreover, they do not need to be watered, do not drop needles and almost look like a real tree – except that they are always too perfect in form and color.

But – they have a slight odor from plastic, or basement if you used it last year. They do not smell of resin, or lack any branches that must be camouflaged with glitter, balls and hearts. They do not need to be tilted and simply lack charm.

In my opinion, it is just Norwegians who are allergic, the elderly, the sick and those who live on the twelfth floor without elevator who have an excuse to use a fake tree.

I ask myself: Who are all those young people who buy artificial Christmas trees? Is it those who do not know any better, do not care – or never have been with a grandfather into the magic woods?

My advice to them is to invest in a bow saw, possibly an ax, and go out into the nearest forest or alternatively visit a town square where real Christmas trees are sold. I am sure a special tree is waiting for us all.

What about the artificial trees? Please recycle them so they can be turned into something useful, like plastic bags.


Merry Christmas!

Categories: Culture

3 replies

  1. I’ve never been able to bring myself to get an artificial tree, despite any advantages they might have. I love the smell, and the whole adventure of going out to get one. Also fake trees impractical for people who don’t have any place to store them for the rest of the year.

  2. Lovely post and a wonderful moody photo.! A fake Xmas tree???

  3. Got my own wood so I don’t even have to sneak out after dark to get one 😉

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