We are moving tomorrow! But we want to find a “real” Christmas tree, if possible and celebrate the season in a more “Canadian” way with a real tree, and not an artificial one. Could we find a place in the Athens area where we could get a real Christmas tree to take with us to the new house
My companion had heard of such places where you could get real pine trees in December for Christmas but had never had one previously. Ideas included local plant nurseries, but we did not have any luck checking with those that were close by. Back in Canada of course, finding a real Christmas tree is not difficult; even many supermarkets sell them out of their parking lots. Often, Boy Scouts will have a Christmas Tree drive to save funds. Or, you can even go and cut your own, like I did with my youngest son David, when he was about 4 years old, and involved a sleigh ride to the area.
Greeks seem to love to celebrate Christmas with lights, artificial trees, and sketched scenes of log cabins and snow – but finding a real tree in the Attica area was not so simple. After some research, we learned that there was a possibility of a place in a parking lot in Nea Filadelfia, but no one was really sure. So, we drove over to see if we could find it.
Eventually, we did. We learned that growing trees for Christmas is something that is more common in Northern Greece, and then the trees are transported by truck to other areas including Athens (Attica).
Nea Filadelfia Christmas Tree Lot
I am not sure exactly where we were in Nea Filadelfia or even the names of the streets, but I know that driving anywhere during the rush hour times, especially in December, is a real pain. We probably could have walked faster than the time it took in traffic to get from Nea Ionia to the general area where we found the Christmas Tree lot in Nea Filadelfia. It was not well-marked and it was almost by chance we found it.
When we arrived, we found a very quiet place with loads of Christmas trees, a couple of “caravans” or camp trailers, a big truck, and a couple sitting beside a fire they had going in a metal barrel.
We walked around the area where all the Christmas trees were standing – and interesting to me how they were cut, and then at the bottom, a cross of wood attached for a stand. There were trees of various heights and widths, but it took awhile to get the attention of the people selling the trees for help with information about costs.
When someone finally came out to us, I was pretty shocked at the prices I was hearing. Very small trees cost 40 Euros, and most of the nicer, taller ones were priced at 150 Euros! In Canadian dollars, that 150 Euros is the same as about $220.00 CAD. Now, it has been awhile since I bought a real tree back in Canada, but am pretty sure I’ve never spent more than about 50.00 on a real Christmas tree.
There were trees available as cheap as 40 Euros, but they were pretty small. The ones I had been looking at though were in the 100.00+ Euro range, and I really did not want to spend that kind of money on a pine tree that was going to lose it’s needles in the next week.
We Find A Tree – And I’m Reminded Of A Grade 2 Play
As we walked around, and seriously considered just leaving, the gentleman who was showing us the trees pointed to one that we could have for 50 Euros. It stood tall among the others that were in the same price range – about 8′ high though whereas the others were much shorter. I was told this tree I could have for only 50.00.
“I cannot sell this tree the way it is,” it was translated to me. “It is too fat and no one will have space for it.”
Indeed, compared to many of the other trees of the same height, this tree did have quite the girth around the bottom of it, and as it stood, would be difficult to place in a corner of a Greek house:
This tree stands 8′ high, will need some trimming at the bottom, but will do fine for 50 Euros! It has lots of branches for lights and decorations, and although it’s already losing needles, that won’t show despite how irregular it is.
It reminded me of the Grade 2 play, in which I was the “ugliest Tree” that no one wanted – but in our open spaces of the new house, it will fit perfectly after some trimming. Just like in the school play, someone found a usefulness for the ugliest tree and could make it beautiful, and we will as well, with this 8′ tree that needs lots of trimming, and some space to shed needles.
It will probably need some water – but once the lights are on, and the bulbs are hanging, we’ll make it into a very beautiful Greek Christmas tree!
Here’s the decorated big fat Greek Christmas Tree: