Erin's Journal

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Just a thought... He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. [Roy L. Smith]

Just one week until Christmas Day now and, oh, how the memories are stirred! If my parents' families' stories are typical, back in the day, people would just now begin thinking about cutting down or buying a tree to put up; my mom would tell me of her dad going out into the bush around their house in Turner Valley, Alberta and cutting down a small tree, bringing it home on Christmas Eve and then they'd decorate it.
 
Imagine - just a few days to enjoy the festivity of a beautiful tree! Now, of course, trees go up in November (or even before) and people enjoy them just as long as they can. Why not? You go to all of that work and expense, so why shouldn't you enjoy your wonderful tree for as long as you possibly can? 
 
One year, we had such a beauty that we left this tree up (complete with Rob's homemade watering system) until February. Of course, we were travelling in January on a listener trip, too, so there wasn't really time to un-deck the halls, if you will. Oh, that's an awful job. Not only does it mean that the holidays are well and truly over, but that you have to find each box or wrapper, put every individual ornament back in its place and say goodbye to it for another year.
 

Christmas tree

 
Ours have been in bins and boxes since we moved and haven't seen the light of day since early 2015. Maybe except for a special few, they'll all go to a thrift store - who knows? Once again this year, being in California, we won't have to think about that. Some day, some day. Not yet.
 
Our cousin Jocelyn and her husband and pre- and teenaged daughters have the most amazing idea for a Christmas tree and something I'd never heard of. I thought I'd share it with you today.
 
Every year, after failing to find a fresh cut tree that they loved in their Calgary-area home of Okotoks, they now order one from Nova Scotia. Yes, there's a Christmas tree farm there that ships trees weeks in advance and Jocelyn assures me it's about the same price as one that is schlepped home from a local lot: $125 plus $10 shipping compared to the $100 they would pay for an Alberta tree. You order according to the fullness that you want.
 
It arrives in a long cardboard tube ($10 for shipping a tree is pretty incredible in my books). 
 

Christmas tree shipping tube

 
How this six-foot tree stays moist and fresh, I have no idea. The instructions say to leave it wrapped up in the garage (they're a Canadian company, so I guess they assume your garage is going to be chilly) until ready to put up. Just over a week ago, they cut it out of its tube using a small power saw. Me, I think it would be outrageously entertaining if you had to whack the tree like a Pillsbury tube in order for it to pop open. Sort of a combined piñata idea? (Just kidding). 
 

cutting the tube

 
And then - voilà - the tree is brought out, all wrapped up like a present just ready to open.
 

Christmas tree tied up

 
Snip some plastic netting, let it settle downwards, and you have yourself a gorgeous tree all ready for decorating and admiring.
 

Christmas tree

 
In case this is something you might consider for Christmases to come, save this link. Thanks to Jocelyn, Julian and the girls for sharing this wonderful tradition with us. Tree in a Tube - who the heck knew? 
 
And today, since we're counting down to the "big day," I thought I'd share with you some very special CHFI pieces that you may already have seen online at the station website or on Citytv. I think the one with my dear friend Michelle Butterly is just amazing. Have a great Tuesday!
 
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