a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Dec, 2016

O Tannenbaum (a.k.a. this is where we got our tree this year)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!|Ottawa

On Saturday night we dropped by Ikea to pick up our Christmas tree. We’ve been coming here for the past 10 years or so. Their live trees are a good price  – only $20 – and proceeds go to the local Lion’s Club. It’s worth mentioning that buying your tree at Ikea also gets you a $20 coupon to put towards a purchase at Ikea in the new year.

The Ikea Christmas trees are always displayed in a big fenced-in area right in front of the store. We pulled up to find a rather scant selection. We were too lazy to get out of the car to ask what was going on. It was cold and windy and we’d just had dinner. “They’ll be getting more trees for sure,” said Mark. “It’s still early! They’ll be getting another shipment soon.” We all agreed. Certainly, this must be the case, right? Well, we drove past the lot the next day and they were completely cleared out. Oops. Looks like we needed a plan B. I wasn’t prepared to go cut our own somewhere. So where in Ottawa does one go to buy a Christmas tree?

Yesterday, Mark came up with a novel idea. We’d just had a fresh snowfall. Why not walk to the Superstore, where they were also selling trees, and buy one there? We’d bring our big sled so we could carry it home.

We set out after dinner. It was dark and the snow was falling lightly. As we walked we admired all of the Christmas lights decorating the homes and trees along the way how they twinkled and reflected in the snow. The roads had been cleared but were neither salted nor sanded so it was easy to pull the sled without too much friction. The girls took turns pulling each other, even Mark got a short ride.

“This was the best part of my childhood,” shouted the eldest over her shoulder above the scraping sounds of the sled on the sidewalk. The youngest had looped the rope around her waist so the sled was easier to pull.

We arrived at the store and I was relieved to see there were lots of trees left. We shook the snow off a few of them before we chose one we liked. I snapped the tag off and brought it inside to a cashier, stopping for a couple of containers of egg nog along the way. After I settled up we turned around and walked home the way we came.

There is something magical about walking home towing a Christmas tree behind you. Would it feel more magical if we were walking our tree home through the woods instead of through the streets? I doubt it. The setting might be different but the feelings – of warmth, love, good will – must be the same.

We brought it home, Mark sawed off the end of the trunk, and after the worst of the snow and ice had melted off we cut the strings and set it in its stand. This morning we woke to unfurled branches. Our tree is surprisingly dense. It has been perfectly trimmed. I couldn’t be more pleased. Suffice it to say, it smells wonderful.

Our Superstore Christmas tree (free mystery vine, included free!)

When we bought the tree I hadn’t realized it came with a FREE bonus mystery vine too. (Ha. You might be able to see it in the photo above.) I think we might tie a Christmas bow on it. ;)

2 Responses to "O Tannenbaum (a.k.a. this is where we got our tree this year)"

1 | Brenda A

December 13th, 2016 at 6:07 pm


Every year we support the Royal Ottawa by buying our tree there. They have a huge assortment and are always so nice! All $ goes to the hospital. Check it out next year!

I do like the shape of your tree though!

2 | andrea tomkins

December 14th, 2016 at 8:19 am


Good to know. I actually wasn’t sure if they still sold trees. We’ll definitely keep this in mind for next year!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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