Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree Stand

I'm finding it difficult to accept that the stock of Christmas tree stands in local stores sells out every year.  A Christmas tree stand is a durable item, so I can't understand why, at this time of year, everybody rushes out to buy one.  Don't most people already own one?  Or if some people don't, can it really be possible that the total number of tree stands for sale in stores can be less than the number of people who need to buy them?  It can.  And this, considering that you can also buy them from catalogs, is astonishing.

Last year, I tried to buy a new Christmas tree stand, and stores were sold out, so we made do with our old one for another year.  Our old one was my grandfather's.  It has been in use yearly since about 1957--hence my surprise at our population's urgent need to buy out stores every year.  Our stand is trashed, probably because of my method of extricating the tree after the holidays--a brutal process that involves shaking it like a gorilla with a baby doll until the tree eventually falls out.

I really wanted one of those classy cast iron stands from L.L. Bean, but they too appear to be sold out.  A boy in Grace's class told her that there were tree stands at Roses.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't take advice from a fifteen year old boy, but THIS boy, I know has a sensible mother. If they got their stand at Roses, then to Roses we would go.  In thirteen years of living in Charlottesville, I'd never been to Roses, but I must say that the NO FIREARMS ALLOWED sign in the window (illustrated with a picture of a hand gun) was promising.  I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that Roses did not  have tree stands.

I won't bore you with all our perambulations, except to say that I was ready to attempt to put up the tree without the benefit of a stand.  We could suspend it from the ceiling.  We could pile heavy books around the trunk.  But then Grace suggested K-Mart, where, on a vast, empty expanse of shelving, was the last Christmas tree stand in all the land.  It is plastic, it is ugly, it is the furthest thing imaginable from the classy cast iron LL Bean one, but it only cost $8.


  1. Old geezer alert: I remember when Roses was in the Barracks Road Harris Teeter location. It was almost respectable back then. Now it's like a crime scene in there.

    Your post reminds me of my ongoing Christmas lights dilemma. Every year I say I'll hit the stores after Christmas and get better lights on sale. And every year I don't want to leave the house. I don't even think of buying any new ones before Christmas because I don't remember how crappy the old ones are until we're actually decorating the tree.

  2. What a weird thing to not be able to find. It's like when I'm looking for bug repellent in August and everyone's sold out. I mean, that I kind of understand, demand-wise. But tree stands? Doesn't seem like a frequent purchase...

  3. We've been using the same tree stand for so long that I can't remember when we bought. Probably in the early '90s. As for why all the stores are sold out of them, I can only imagine that people just simply can't keep track of all their shit. And then someone moves and discovers that they have 6 tree stands stashed in various corners of their attic.

  4. This is one more reason why I have an artificial tree.

  5. I am a great believer in the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

  6. I'm surprised that you didn't apply the well known American ingenuity.

    We've been using the same tree stand for the last 7 years. It's a wooden beer crate, with about half a dozen bricks as a counterweight. 4 sturdy wooden 2 X 2s give the tree trunk support (plus 4, 4" nails)and then the whole thing is covered in Christmas paper to give that festive air.
    Works for us

  7. Grandpa made my parents a stand. My mom still uses it (must be going on 45 years). I bought one just like it and have had it for 14 years. I found it at BJ's Wholesale Club, and I think it was about $25. For some reason, my husband thinks it should be replaced. I don't get it. It's got another 40 years or so left in it.