A Christmas Tree Adventure

This weekend we went on our annual trek to buy a Christmas tree. We go to a farm about 20 kilometers outside of Belgrade in the Šumadija region, near the Avala Mountain. It is a tree farm in the village of Žuče. We have gone there for several years and you can get a tree for about 1, 200 RSD (10 Euros).

We buy the roots and all and carry it away in a pot instead of cutting the tree. We later find a spot to plant it.  The guys at the farm are very helpful and will dig it up, wrap the roots, and tie the branches for easier transport. The kids love going too because they can run around and play hide and seek.

We got off to a late start because of car trouble. I was filling the tires with air and the valve on the tire snapped in half. Luckily, I was with friends and the great mechanics of Anđelković Garage are in the neighborhood. They sent Jovan over and he saved the day by replacing the valve. We gave him a round of applause.

With the pot the tree is quite big and my friend Michael and I had a difficult time getting it up the steps and in the house. It was worth it however, because the decorated tree looks perfect and Nadia did a great job of decorating the house with poinsettias and Christmas decorations. This is our last Christmas in Europe and so we are going to enjoy it.

Now we just need snow! It is in the forecast, and tonight it is 1C so I am hoping for some of the white stuff when I wake up.

A big thanks go to Damian, Susie, Michael, and Brooke for their help and Miloš and Boško from the school.





Christmas Tree Harvest


Yesterday we went and found our Christmas tree. We had a great time going with our friends, the Moynihan family. As last year, we traveled out to the village of Zuce, located on the eastern slopes of Mount Avala in the Sumadija region of Serbia. This year’s selections of pine trees was not great, but we did manage to find a cute one. Owen and Oliver selected the tree. The park has a wide variety of trees and shrubs for sale.

It was very cold, the coldest it has felt so far this year. We still do not have snow, probably one of the few places in Europe without snow. I want SNEG!!!

A nice option at the Park Zuce is to take your tree, roots and all back home (see photo below). They dig up the tree and wrap the roots and soil in a bag for you to transplant back home. We stopped at a roadside shop and bought a big plant holder and extra soil. They tie the tree up for easy transport. We will decorate the tree today and then after the New Year’s holiday, plant the tree in a nearby park. Last year’s Christmas tree is still growing in our garden. This is a nice green option and would be a nice idea in the USA. Imagine how many trees could be planted!

It was a really nice day yesterday. Besides the journey to Zuce, we took the kids to McDonalds. Owen, Oliver and I then went to basketball practice. I played for the first time in a long time. My back is a bit sore today and I worry about my knee blowing out when playing, but I played well and it felt very good to get back out on the court. We finished up the night, worrying about Serbia being down 1-2 today in the Davis Cup. I’ll be posting photos of our Christmas tree today.