a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Jan, 2010

A small and temporary forest [now with photo]

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

I was walking home on my way from a community association meeting last night when I realized that many of my neighbors had already put their Christmas trees out by the curb.

I suddenly remembered my idea from last year. It was time.

I got the car, drove around the block, and slowwwwly pulled up beside one of those curbside trees. Here’s where I admit I felt a little sneaky and scared. Good lord, is this even legal? I was worried that someone would see me and have a fit. I was practically rehearsing what I was going to say, and debating whether this was going to make me the neighborhood The Crazy Christmas Tree Lady.

With a hoist and a shove I stuffed the tree into the trunk, needles clicking and falling like rain from the sky, and drove the thing home … marginally worried that it was going to fall out of the car and I’d have no choice but to shove it back in again, risking discovery by all and sundry. When I got it home I pulled it from the trunk (cue second massive needle drop) and stuck the thing into the snow on our front lawn.

Then I decided that the car was too loud, this was an exercise better undertaken in the quiet of the night, by just me, walking.

And so I walked to three other homes, picked up three other trees, dragged each one home, and stuck them all into the snow. Oh my, was it a lot of work. What I really needed was a pickup truck.

I am sore. Who needs the gym when you can drag trees around your neighborhood?

This morning the girls woke up to see a small forest of five new evergreens on our lawn. They really liked it, especially Sarah. She was the first one to notice.

“MAMMA, there are TREES on our LAWN!!”

I know five trees doesn’t exactly make a forest (that was my goal, but that’s all I had the energy to do!), but it’s easy to imagine it could be.

[ETA: so you get the idea, right?] :)

Thursday January 7, 2010

20 Responses to "A small and temporary forest [now with photo]"

1 | molly

January 7th, 2010 at 8:50 am


magical! what a wonderful surprise to wake up to. i can’t wait to see the photos.

2 | Hellcat13

January 7th, 2010 at 9:09 am


Hee! I love this. Me and a few friends did this with old Halloween pumpkins a few years ago – went around the neighbourhood and collected about 20 of them from the curbside and then decorated a friend’s lawn. He loved it. (as did his neighbours!)

3 | Marla

January 7th, 2010 at 9:11 am


I love this idea. Our friends’ kids did this on their front lawn last year, and Josie and I ended up driving around one afternoon and sneaking about eight more trees in. They ended up with about 25! It was her first practical joke, and she’s still SOOOO proud of herself.

4 | coffeewithjulie

January 7th, 2010 at 9:41 am


You are a rockstar! Can’t wait to see the photo!

5 | Laura

January 7th, 2010 at 11:27 am


What a magical idea! Love it! I am looking forward to seeing some photos…

6 | DaniGirl

January 7th, 2010 at 11:44 am


What a silly, delightful idea! But I have to ask — now what? Do you think the city will collect more than one tree from you? I’m snickering at what the neighbours must be thinking, even the ones who didn’t see you filching trees in the dark of night…

7 | andrea

January 7th, 2010 at 12:15 pm


I am assuming they’ll collect all the trees. If they don’t, I’ll have to distribute them over five consecutive yard waste days!

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next week! :)

8 | Relishing.ca » We Can:

January 7th, 2010 at 2:20 pm


[…] Fish, you make sure you call me next time you pull off hijinks of this calibre.  I’ll […]

9 | Caroline

January 7th, 2010 at 4:20 pm


We back onto a creek and neighbours shovel off a skating rink and surround it with all the community Christmas trees so that snowmobilers don’t skid on the ice. It looks so beautiful walking to see a little rink surrounded by firs!

10 | Sharon

January 7th, 2010 at 5:37 pm


It wouldn`t work here…Only got about 40 acres of trees around the house. AND walking MILES for trees to put up just ain`t me! LOL

Looks awesome and very speical though

11 | LO

January 7th, 2010 at 7:11 pm


very, VERY cool!

12 | Betsy Mae

January 7th, 2010 at 8:16 pm


Andrea I LOVE this idea, I thought of you/that post when I saw all the trees out on the curbs in my neighbourhood. Sadly, we can’t do this as we haven’t got snow!!!! Bummer!!!

Caroline, I LOVE what your neighbour did as well!

13 | Finola

January 7th, 2010 at 8:58 pm


Wow, what a gorgeous picture!

14 | andrea

January 7th, 2010 at 9:55 pm


Thanks everyone. I am tickled. And I snuck in two more trees. Am I crazy? Or just greedy? :)

15 | Shan

January 7th, 2010 at 9:59 pm


What an awesome idea!! Love it!

16 | @WannabeMomErin

January 9th, 2010 at 1:14 pm


This is such a great idea. Really brilliant.

17 | Wanda

January 9th, 2010 at 8:45 pm



If you are all still enjoying your forest, there is no need to put them to the curb next week. A neighbour across the street did this last year and put them out the first yard waste collection day in the spring. They took them all! I know that any trees that get stuck in the ice in snowbank get left behind and then collected in the spring.

Just an idea…….

18 | Creating a magical childhood « Your Peekaboo Beans Stylist

March 11th, 2011 at 3:33 am


[…] wake them in the middle of the night to go watch a comet fly by. I want to turn my backyard into a magical forest of Christmas trees, or their bedrooms into outer space with glow in the dark stars. I want to plant a garden with […]

20 | Exploring the world through play and adventures « Your Peekaboo Beans Play Stylist

March 21st, 2012 at 5:06 am


[…] high when it comes to creating those experiences. I’ll never forget the time she created a tempoary forest in her backyard out of digarded Christmas […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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