Thursday, December 24, 2009

More about trees

According to the recent report of Finnish Forest Research Institute (Korhonen & Mäkelä, METLA), there are over 77.1 billion trees in Finland. This figure doesn't cover hedgerows, trees in cities or growing stocks in parks. Counting those would increase the number with roughly 1.3 billion trees. These interesting (and very well worthless) facts made my boyfriend call me on Tuesday, when he was reading the local newspaper at work. They are now saved in our collection of worthless information (he loves worthless facts, I love the fact he loves them) but in my opinion they were worth of sharing. So I wrote them here just to let you know. Some day you may win a quiz with this, or just impress a cute girl with all the things you know.

This fact may also explain why we love real Christmas trees here. We have where to take from, you could say. For me it's the most important thing of the whole holidays. It may sound silly and even a bit brutal: to cut a real, living tree just to decorate it and have it die in your living room. But still, if I don't have a tree, I don't feel like Christmas at all. I love the smell of it, and that's why I can't have a plastic one. I would love to live in a house with a huge tree growing in the middle (Moomins had one in the comics, didn't they?) but cause it's not possible, I love to have one even for a couple of weeks in the winter. It just makes me happy, I can't explain it better.

This year I got our tree (or I maybe should call it my tree, cause my boyfriend just hates it...) from my father, who lives in the middle of the forest. Our Christmas trees have traditionally been ones growing in wrong places in his yard, and that's why they're never the prettiest ones. They are thin and wispy and drop all the needles in a week, but I don't care. I don't even want a perfect tree like in Disney movies. I'm a Finn and know what real trees look like, and believe me, Disney doesn't have a clue. For me buying a perfect tree from the market place would be as bad as having a plastic one. But sadly enough there seems to be just a few of us thinking like this. Most people want a fantasy tree and that's why the ones sold are planted in and imported from Holland and Denmark. Mind you, from countries having a very few trees, even fewer of them firs. To a country with 77.1 billion trees, most of them firs and pines. To me this sounds mind-blowingly stupid. I just sit in our living room and am happy with my crooked one. It may not be the most beautiful tree in Finland, but it's mine. And it creates my Christmas spirit although we are giving a damn of most Christmas traditions and mostly celebrate with sleeping a lot and eating pasta.

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