O Christmas Tree!

19 Dec
One of the joys of living off the beaten track is that it socially acceptable and even legal to go cut down a tree from a random public area, whether it’s for firewood or for strange religious rites that require elaborate ornamention and eventual disposal.
Our friends Hugh and Anissa went and cut down a tree a couple of weeks ago, but they’ll soon be leaving for Montreal to spend Christmas with their families and they won’t be back until after New Year’s.  So they were actually going to give us their tree — waste not, want not!  Yesterday afternoon, though, Hugh called and said that he didn’t think the tree would make it.  In sorting their laundry, a flying article of clothing landed on their tree and caused an avalanche of needles (doesn’t that always happen to you?!).  He figured if the tree couldn’t withstand a textile assault, it probably wouldn’t do well on a car roof, either.  He kindly let us know in time to take advantage of the short daylight hours we have right now.  (Hurray the solstice is coming!)
Michael put aside the mincemeat tarts he had started making, we packed Nanuq into the back of the car, and off we went in search of the perfect tree — or at least a reasonably attractive one.  We drove in in the direction of Haines Junction and eventually saw a promising stand.  We figured we’d have to tramp around for a while to find a good specimen, but it didn’t take more than five minutes to find one we thought suitable.  Poor Nanuq, having to endure a 40-minute drive for such a short outing!  Michael’s saw made short work of the trunk — it probably helped, of course, that it was only -4 out, and not -40.  We wrapped the tree up in a tarp, set it on the roof, and then I played with Nanuq while Michael worked his boy scout magic with a rope.
Our next step was to get a tree stand.  First we went to Candian Tire.  The only type of tree stand they had left was a $50 super-duper self-watering, self-straightening, stand.  Over the shelves, a notice was posted that said some of the ones sold before December 4 were being recalled because the water tank would leak.  Well, I reasoned, at least it’s a good solid stand and they’ve resolved the problem.  We peeked into an opened box and saw that not only was the stand made of cheap plastic, but someone had manage to break a big hunk off when they had removed it from the box.  This was clearly not worth $50.  
We went to Wal-Mart, which also had only one type of stand left, also plastic.  But at least this one was only $14.50 and had a really wide and sturdy base.  It actually looks nice enough that I decided not to bother using my cheap felt tree skirt with it.  The tree still needs decorating — there wasn’t time to do it last night because we were going to Hugh and Anissa’s for supper, but the house definitely has that Christmas smell to it!

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