Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trees & Schnee

(Sorry...I can't give up Fahrenheit!)

First, some good news: the first snowfall of December for Lux Ville is forecast for this weekend. At the moment, my phone tells me that there might be a few flakes of schnee tomorrow; on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, a few more. After weeks of cold, wind and rain, these snowflakes are practically a Christmas miracle!

And second, a few words about Christmas trees.

Finding Your Tree
Hopefully you have your sapin de noël already, but if not, never fear: it’s still possible to find one. And you don’t even need a car to do it.

Last year, Nick and I found ours at Gamm Vert in Gasperich. The store is about two kilometers from our apartment, which meant that we had to get a bit creative in order to bring it home… So, we decided to take it on the bus! Lucky for us, the ticketing rules only apply to people, so we didn’t even have to buy a ticket for our Christmas tree. We received a few surprised, inquisitive, and “you people are crazy” looks from the driver and other passengers, but it was worth it!

In addition to Gamm Vert, you can also find your tree at other home and garden stores like Hornbacher in Bertrange or Bâtiself in Strassen. Both are reachable by bus. I seem to recall that last year a tree stand popped up in the parking lot at the intersection of Route d’Esch and Rue de Hollerich. I haven’t been down that way, but that might be another place to check.

If you have a car, Ikea in Arlon (Belgium) is advertising that they sell trees at this link. If you buy your tree at Ikea, you can return it to the store after Christmas for 2,50€ and it will be used in a biodiversity project in Namur.

Or, if you find yourself heading to Metz, check out this web site for a map of Christmas tree stands around the city.

Disposing of Your Tree
We bought our tree as early as we possibly could last year, so, naturally, our tree was dried up and ready to be taken down by New Year’s Eve. (I believe most people here leave their trees up until Three Kings Day on January 6, the official last day of Christmas.) I was a web-surfing, Googling fiend in trying to determine how to properly dispose of our tree, but couldn’t dig up anything. So, I went to my #1 resource for all living-in-Luxembourg information in English: the Luxembourg City Tourist Office in the Kneudler.

Nick and our Christmas tree, waiting for the bus.
It was a cold January afternoon and there were no tourists to be found, so two nice ladies generously spent at least ten minutes with me to try to help me find an answer. They told me that they thought I could just leave my tree outside of my apartment building on garbage day. I was suspicious. Could it really be that simple? They tried calling various city departments to confirm, but couldn’t reach anyone (I’m pretty sure this all happened within the 12pm-2pm lunch window), so they sent me off with a few numbers to call to follow up.

A couple of days later while walking through the Parc de Merl, Nick and I noticed a large garbage bin that held someone else’s discarded Christmas tree. Following their lead, the very next afternoon I took our tree downstairs, left it outside while I carefully vacuumed up the needles I’d left in the hallway, and then carried the tree a half kilometer down the street to put it in the bin. My coat was covered with the few pine needles that hadn’t fallen into my purse, but at least I was finally rid of it!

Naturally, when I returned home, I found someone else’s Christmas tree lying on the sidewalk in front of our apartment building, and needles that they hadn’t bothered to clean up strewn throughout the common areas. But a couple of days later after the garbage service came by, the tree was gone.

So: lesson learned. It really is as easy as that. To get rid of your tree, just leave it outside your home on garbage day and someone will come by to pick it up. Unless, of course, you want some fresh air, lots of funny looks and a purse full of pine needles. In that case, I definitely recommend walking it down to the Parc de Merl.


  1. Nice post. I got mine at Bâtiself - they gave me a 15 euro token.

  2. Hey Jessica,

    My name is Joe Pinzone and I'm casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We'd love to film in Luxembourg and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The expats on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. They must also speak English fluently and can be buyers or renters for their homes. If you'd like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc