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    A Nova Scotian Christmas
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 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Perfect Tree
• Part 3: Exporting Big Red
• Part 4: Gifts from the Heart
  Related Resources
• World Balsam Fir Capital
• NS Christmas Daddies
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Boston's NS Tree
 

Quick. What's 60 ft tall, green all over and lives in Nova Scotia? If you guessed the 'Jolly Green (Bluenosed) Giant', you'd be wrong. His Royal Niblets is an American invention. But if you said the Boston Prudential Center Christmas Tree, you're getting closer. These giants of Nova Scotia's old growth Acadian forest have gladdened hearts south of the 49th parallel for a quarter of a century.

A BIG NS export Presented as an annual gift to the people of Boston from Nova Scotia, the stately Christmas trees and their 18,000 lights commemorate Boston's quick response to the Halifax Explosion of 1917. The infamous explosion killed or seriously injured thousands and left more homeless when two ships collided in Halifax Harbour. Among the first to respond with much needed help were the people of Massachusetts, who sent a complete relief expedition to the city.

The spectacular Yuletide Christmas greeting is a tradition that will soon be just a memory. Nova Scotia's huge old growth trees are becoming harder to spot than Santa himself. A few years back , when Rockefeller Centre put out a call for 'the perfect tree' to light up the New York night, it was found, not in the 'forest primeval' as Longfellow romanticised in his Evangeline epic of the Acadian Expulsion, but on a golf course near Digby. The majestic Douglas fir was according to specs, 80 feet tall and perfectly symmetrical , but it was destined to become one of the last great travelling tree ambassadors for Nova Scotia.

"America's Christmas Tree' is undeniably one of the most famous in the world. In Boston, thousands of spectators wait for the traditional tree lighting ceremony, and when it happens, they cheer and recall its reason for being there. As the name Nova Scotia ripples through the entranced crowd, it will be repeated more than 100,000 times over the summer, when New Englanders flock to
Pine Rocking Horse Image - Courtesy Nova Mercantile
Pine Rocking Horse © Nova Mercantile
this affordable vacation destination to the north.

Nova Scotian trade missions to the New England states count on having just that effect. Boston and Halifax are no strangers. They've been trading partners for several centuries, born of the natural coastal trade route that defines their common bond. Today , in Back Bay and Manhatten, in Peoria, Illlinois and in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Nova Scotian trees are reflected in the happy eyes of American youngsters, the product of the province's 2500 Christmas tree growers. No threat to the environment, these 5 to 12 foot firs, spruce and pine have been lovingly raised from seedlings to grace the holiday homesMaud Lewis Folk Art Plaque of Americans, Europeans, prairie dwellers and homesick "Maritimers" all over the world.

Nostalgia and a yearning to be home for the holidays will prompt thousands of Nova Scotians living 'away', to purchase Nova Scotia Christmas trees , live Atlantic lobster and "Made in Nova Scotia" fine crafts and traditional foods. The star ingredient for what has become a 'new' Expat tradition is the live Atlantic lobster. On Christmas Eve across the land, Maritimers everywhere gather for a good old-fashioned lobster boil (with a side of scallops deep fried in butter and cornmeal), music from the coast, and probably a few bottles of Schooner beer or a dash or two of Captain Morgan's rum.

For those of us lucky enough to be home in Nova Scotia, check the following links on Part 2 for local Christmas tree farms who will let you wander through fields of live fir and spruce and choose 'the perfect tree' for your home.

Part 3 guides you to where you can order (and learn to cook!) live Atlantic lobsters, while in Part 4, I have put together places to find gifts from the heart -- long cherished favourites like Nova Scotia wild blueberries, Summer Savoury, tongues and sounds, or hand-stitched quilts, hand-carved duck decoys, folk art and fiddle music.


Next page > Tracking Your Perfect Tree> Part 2, 3, 4



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Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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