Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Tropical Christmas Tree

So, in years past we have done different things in regards to a Christmas tree in our home.  One year we went on a hunt in Huron National Forrest for one (that was a great story, but it was pre blog, so it's only written up over here on Facebook.  Then there was the year we got one that was spray painted from the Hardware store in Fairview (sorry Erin, no Hardware store party post this year).  And then there was the year we broke down and got a fake tree and liked it.

Funny thing, when we got the fake tree we thought we wouldn't be able to have a real one in Central America.  Turns out we were wrong.  Who knew?

Here in Costa Rica they sell cyprus trees as Christmas trees.  Hey, they fall into that ever green category right?  Well, I guess everything here falls into the evergreen category because, well, it's always green.  Ha!  But you get the idea.

It seems that every couple of blocks around us there are signs like this.

For those of you who don't speak or read Spanish, that says "Christmas Trees for Sale" with an arrow to show you which way (I know the arrow was confusing.)

So, Saturday we decided to load up all the kids and the dog and find one of these places.  This was Minga's first car ride with us.  Forrest narrated the whole trip for her, letting her know all the important local spots.

We ended up about 5 minutes from our house.  We all piled out of the truck in our sandals and shorts and went for the shortest walk ever into a Christmas tree field.  The whole process took like 5 minutes.  I almost couldn't get any photos because it took so little time.  And I do have to say, there is something so very strange about cutting down a Christmas tree with palm and banana trees right next to it!

The boys hunted down the right one, and then Noah asked The Christmas Tree Man if he could cut it down.  He being Noah.  To which The Christmas Tree Man seemed very confused and then just shrugged his shoulders like, "Ok, crazy gringo man, whatever you want."  This was all after Noah tried to explain the Charlie Brown Christmas movie to him.  Not sure why, but whatever.

Then we realized we needed some sort of stand to put this tree in.  The Christmas Tree Man didn't sell any, but he told us to just use a bucket.  Noah asked if we could buy a bucket from him.  Again, there was some shrugging of shoulders and some grinning at the silly white people and eventually he found us an old cement bucket.  Noah tried to pay The Christmas Tree Man for it, but he just laughed.

Elliot helped carry the tree to the car. And after it was up on the truck, we all felt the need to get another photo.  Again, more grinning at these silly people with their dog and tree and camera and weird stories of cartoon people.

I promise Quinn was on this trip.  It's just he fell asleep in the car and I didn't want to wake him up.  And no, I am not wearing Minga in the sling.

We drove the 5 minutes home and then set about the work of getting the tree up.  Noah found some rocks in the yard, and propped the tree up in the bucket.  He had to cut off some of the branches on the bottom, which worked out just fine because I was wanting some boughs to decorate with.

When I was at the store the other day, I tried to buy some more strands of plain white Christmas lights.  Remember, this was before December 1st.  There were NONE.  Only purple and orange and white icicle ones to put on your house (because nothing says Christmas in the tropics like icicles?!)  So, I had to take down the two strands I bought in October for the porch and put those on the tree.  Which, while I usually like to use about 5 strands of lights, didn't turn out too bad.

And the boughs worked well to cover our railing, make a center piece and a wreath. 

I still need to get some ribbon to add a bit to the garland and wreaths, but as they say, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" around here.


  1. This brings back memories of my El Salvador days! A cyprus Christmas tree works for sure! I remember icicle lights too. You're right, they love them in the tropics!

  2. What is up with the icicle lights in Central America???? They are all over El Salvador...I thought maybe they kind of resemble vines? The tree looks El Salvador we go with a fake one, and burn a pine candle but I have heard rumors that there are real ones out there somewhere...


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