The Friday before Advent started, my friend and I set out to buy a Christmas tree. The first year we lived in Kuwait, I had borrowed her artificial tree, as they would be in Canada for Christmas. She planned a tree trimming party at my house, with all our friends coming to help, and each bringing an ornament. I supplied food and drink, and we had the best time ever.
Because it was so much fun, I wanted her to help me decorate my Norwegian tree – the first “real” tree I have had since leaving Canada six years ago. Somehow, living Christmas trees just don’t seem proper in the Middle East.
I had heard through the Stavanger Expat site on Facebook about a tree farm where they had a room to warm up in. It was just south of Sola, off Highway 510 at Tjelta, so away we went. Just before the Ræge Church we saw the sign to Ræge Juletregard. We followed the signs this way and that until we arrived at the farm. Two ladies in bright red snow suits were busy in an old shed making Christmas wreaths and other decorations for the season.
When we inquired about buying a tree, we were told that we could pick one out, have our name put on it, and come for it closer to Christmas. I guess the market isn’t that hot on November 30, but I was adamant that I wanted to take it home right away.
Here is a field of baby trees + they will take a few years to be ready to harvest.
The owner took me into a field of Christmas trees, all covered with last night’s snow. There were so many – and they were all so perfect. How on earth was I to pick one? Of course, Corinne wandered off to visit the horses and just enjoy the crisp, snowy air, leaving the decision all to me. The lady patiently brushed off tree after tree so I could have a good look. I finally picked one (that she hadn’t brushed off) and she got her little tree-cutter under it and there it was.
We carried it out of the mass of other trees, and down to the main yard. Then, while it was all bundled up, ready to take home, we were led into aback room which had once been a cattle manger. We were treated to coffee, pepperkaker and glog. It was nice and warm, and decorated with antiques and traditional Norwegian Christmas decorations.
Warm and cozy, and feeling a bit pampered, we returned outside. I paid for my tree, had it put into the car, and away we went home.
The tree wasn’t decorated until Monday as we were busy exploring Stavanger and the area – but we had it. And it is beautiful.
Ræge Juletregard is on Facebook, and also has a website (www.rege-juletregard.no) with a map to help you find them. Good trees, great service – and a local business with real Norwegian trees, instead of those brought in from Denmark or somewhere else.