Christmas Tree: Slade Valley Christmas Tree Farm, Wicklow Mountains, Ireland

On Sunday, we all bundled up and headed out towards Meath to see if we could find Wades Christmas Tree Farm which we read about on a landscaper’s blog.   Well after driving around and finally asking in a local pub, we learned that it had been closed down for a few years and that it will take a few more to have the crop ready.  Grrr…. so not sure what to do, we drove towards IKEA as we know they had an offer – buy a tree for 30 and get a 20 store credit to be used in January – great deal!!  But when we arrived at IKEA, Nils said he’d prefer to go to a tree farm as we had planned and started to head south towards Wicklow Mountains – a place we keep finding ourselves drawn.

We did a quick check in the car park and found a list of “Irish Christmas Tree Growers” and found Slade Valley Christmas Tree Farm – amazing how technology and wifi help us in our day-to-day!!

When we arrived, they had a section of trees which they just cut and continue to replenish throughout the day.  Many people came and just picked up one of these trees but we first walked around the field in the back to see what trees were currently in the ground.  The concept was that you find a tree you like, tag it with a white ribbon supplied and then a man comes and cuts it down for you.  Normally the field is home to sheep and it was obvious, for the mounds and mounds of poo all over the ground – thankfully the kids were in their wellies.   At first we were trying to be cautious but after five minutes, it was clear that was not an option!!

The view is spectacular – and from the photo, it’s probably clear as to why we love the Wicklow Mountains and find ourselves there often.

The field even had this cute guy next to it, watching us.

As we walked around, we spotted many trees which we liked but just didn’t want to cut it down as it was the “one”.  I was after a tree which was somewhat sparse as I like the look of seeing all the lights and ornaments hanging down.  We went back up to the lot to see what they had just as a guy was taking off some newly cut trees… and after looking at about a dozen, I found one that I liked.  So we packed it in the trunk and headed off in search of a pub where we could have a meal.

After two days of letting it settle and 360 colorful super bright multi-colored lights (kids choice), we decorated it with all our ornaments.

The glass and more special ones which we collected overthe past years go to the top.  I’ve started buying ornaments from places we’ve visited.

Now that our tree is hung, the kids love looking at it.

Speaking of lights – originally the tree was going to have 700 lights on it, but as it took me nearly 1 hour to untangle the brand new lights.  Thankfully, I didn’t open the package and they are going back — those extra lights are just not worth the aggravation!!!

Last year our tree was a bit girly with pinks and silvers… so this year I hope to change it up a bit. The balls are still okay, it’s just instead of the pink lights, I was thinking of getting some warm white ones but the kids yelled “bright, colorful, rainbow ones“, so I think they’ve just swayed me towards colored LED ones.  After all they are going to enjoy it just as much as me.   When we lived in Winthrop (2007-2010) our tree had blue lights – I thought it was cute but wouldn’t go back to blue lights now.  One day I’ll have a “kids tree” in their playroom and an adult tree in the living room.
When we lived in Boston, our family spent an afternoon at Crane Neck Christmas Tree Farm cutting down our own Christmas tree – which I loved. We bundled up, grabbed a saw, and spent nearly an hour wandering around the farm, in search of that perfect tree. I even like the places which you go in August and tag our tree and come back and cut it down after Thanksgiving.  I love the atmosphere of these type places – very New England – which at times I do miss and hope to return other times, I’m okay living abroad – but that is for another time.

We called it our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree as it was a bit bare but the best part was that it was FIVE dollars!  Yes, only $5.00 – hard to believe.

We’ve seen a lot of places in the area which sell pre-cut trees on the side of the road, but those tend to have been cut in September & October so often are very dry and lose all needles quickly.  We were suckered into buying a $65.00 special Fraser fir tree from the lot at Ace Hardware in Winthrop, MA.  We were told it was amazing at needle-retention and in the matter of days dried out despite keeping it full of water.   Pfff – I’d much prefer my $5.00 wicked bargain!