HUNT­ING & Gath­er­ing

Style at Home - - From our editor - Erin McLaugh­lin erin@styleath­

When I was a lit­tle girl grow­ing up in Toronto, I had no idea where Christ­mas trees came from. As far as I was con­cerned, it was part of the magic of the hol­i­day. Ev­ery year at the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber, a “for­est” would sud­denly ma­te­ri­al­ize in the park­ing lot of the church at the end of our street. Try­ing to imag­ine that those trees orig­i­nated in a field or farm in the coun­try was be­yond city-tyke me. On the week­end be­fore Christ­mas, my fa­ther would take my older sis­ter and me to the lot to pick out the per­fect spec­i­men for us to dec­o­rate. We were a bal­sam fir kind of fam­ily, and I re­mem­ber be­ing among those tall ev­er­greens – stand­ing straight like sen­tries – and feel­ing each mag­nif­i­cent one loom­ing over me.

There was a kind of hush when I was sur­rounded by the ev­er­greens, like I was in my own pri­vate hide­away with my dad and sis­ter on the other side of the branches, and I loved it. But the choice of which one was right for our liv­ing room wasn’t easy for two young ladies who had def­i­nite ideas in mind, and in­evitably the trip dis­solved into fights and tears – and my poor fa­ther ended up also be­ing re­spon­si­ble for me­di­at­ing be­tween my sis­ter and me about which one to pick.

It’s been at least 40 years since the days when the ori­gin of Christ­mas trees was as much of a mys­tery to me as how Santa Claus could leave presents for kids who lived in homes without fire­places. And each year I still ex­pe­ri­ence a lovely sense of nos­tal­gia when the Christ­mas tree lots spring up across the city at the first sign of snow. Although many of us now go and cut our own ver­dant conifer, this city slicker still loves buy­ing her Christ­mas trees from a lo­cal park­ing lot.

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