Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas at Killiecrankie Farm

"Oh Christmas tree Oh Christmas tree,
La da di da da da daaaa!"

How do you like your Christmas tree? Real or fake? Tizzy or simple?

I usually go for my old trusty fake tree, drag it out of the shed each year and let the kids go crazy (then fix it to my liking once they're in bed!), but this month's Country Style Christmas edition has me reconsidering.
 Lee and Chris Adamson Ringk are 'former townies from the mainland' who moved to Tasmania 6 years ago with their three children in search of the good life. They now run a little place called Killiecrankie Farm in Northern Tasmania which is dedicated to growing Christmas trees - how cool is that!!

I had the chance to have a chat with Lee, and asked her what Christmas is to her and her family.

Do you have any special Christmas traditions?
We have a few traditions, they really are much like many others though.

We  like a fresh tree on the 1st of December oddly enough, we never wait until the advent period.
We have always had fresh trees, even before we grew our own (except for a breif hiatus when we lived in Queensland as kids, and it was a tinsel one ).

Lunches are always at one of the family homes, followed by boxing day by a river or creek somewhere. Here we head up the Tamar River. But when we lived on the mainland it would be somewhere around the Nymboida if we were at Nan's place, or the Murrumbidgee if we were at Mum & Dads. There is something nice about leftovers on the shore of a river, swimming and cricket - very Aussie !

What is it that you love the most about Christmas?
The feeling  - excitement, tredipdation about what you will get, being with family and friends, the replete lounging after a big feed for Christmas lunch, a load of lazines that is allowed after all the cooking and cleaning. Now we have kids its gotten exciting all over again and at a whole new level !

Do you have a favourite Christmas recipe?
Actually no - I'm not fickle, I love food of any bend. But my Mum does the best cooking of our family favourites and anything I try to duplicate comes in at a pale comparison. Anything that Mum makes is brilliant - but I guess the favourite is Rum Balls, she soaks the fruit for months ahead !
My mother-in-law is the queen of Gingerbreads, always beautifully iced and it’s a tussle when the parcel arrives with them as to who gets one first, at the mopment I'm bigger then the kids so I'm winning the first Gingerbread fight at the moment.

Do you make all your Christmas decorations? 
Well yes and no, the kids make loads that will scatter over the tree. Our tree is what you call eclectically decorated. We have decorations friends handmake, mine and the kids. I tried colour themed last year, it just didn't happen so I'm sticking with the eclectic style from now on !

With so many gorgeous trees to choose from, how do you decide which will be your family's Christmas tree?
Its all up to the kids, and how well they can convince their father to bring the biggest one possible into the house. We have had to keep them small and fenced in to keep baby hands off them for the last few years, but this year its open season on the trees as all the kids have stopped eating tinsel and baubles.
On the eve of the 1st of December after dinner we head out to the woodland and do laps until we get to the one the kids think "this is it !". Its cut and hauled to the house, then the lounge room gets littered in decorations as the kids siphoned through the box and pick out what goes where.
image from here
A huge thankyou to Lee for sharing her Christmas with us!
If you live near Killicrankie Farm pop on over and have a chat to Lee and Chris and get a most magical tree from them! (& check out their blog here)

So what about you guys? Do you go for real or fake when it comes to your Christmas tree?

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