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My Great Canadian Experience: Cutting down a Christmas tree

Iker with his host family

by Iker from Spain

Christmas is that time of the year where everyone appears to forget about the entire year and enjoy time with friends and family. As the special date approaches, everything starts to revolve around it, bringing people together to joyfully celebrate these days. This year, though far away from home, I was fortunate to experience such an amazing time with a family I am so grateful to have met.

As it has been usual these last few months, nothing felt the same, as though I was living in a totally different world. One of those shocking events was cutting down a tree to decorate for Christmas. Before, I had thought it was one more of those ideal-movie-things. The wonderful sound of the snow under my feet while walking through the woods, the pleasant silence of nature, the strong scent of a fresh-chopped pine tree or the needle leaves all over my clothes after carrying it were new feelings to me. And, to be honest, they certainly felt the way movies express them, or even better.

After we had driven to my host family’s lot, we wandered around the forest for a while trying to find the perfect tree: not too skinny but neither too bushy, tall enough but making sure it would fit inside… Tons of candidates for “THE tree” and a couple of wounded members of the crew later, we found one that, despite some people’s concerns, seemed to be a good option. Even though it was a little cold, sun rays (which I personally enjoy even when they are very faint) and ax hits warmed us up really quickly. 

Then we headed to the truck and tied the tree on top of it. Surely, after a good job done, the only thing left was to enjoy the snow and perform our usual wrestling show, this time festive version with Christmas hats and everything. Once we got home, we whipped out the decorations and the Christmas Spirit kicked in.

Overall, I felt one more member of this family and I learnt to enjoy new great Canadian experiences, as well as embrace differences. Never had I thought I could say this but, far from feeling upset, I reckon this might be the best Christmas of my life!

Photo and blog post submitted by Iker from Spain. Iker is a grade 11 student at Fernie Secondary School. 

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