Pining for Tradition

No Chipper Event at Kits Beach 2021

It makes sense that in light of all of the cancellations of events throughout the city, that the tree chipping events down at Kits Beach would also be cancelled during COVID.  But I didn’t want it to be.  We have so many happy memories of chipper events with kids, hot chocolate and even roasted wieners.  When my husband reported that the event was going ahead, I too wanted to believe.  He had checked on the internet.  It must be so.  Social distancing could be possible. 

Off we went with our exceptionally dry, consequently very light tree.  Like many other Vancouverites, our tree went up the earliest date ever.  The lights, the decorations in trees outside as well as inside were the things we could control this year.  It was imperative to grab some festive spirit. 

Off we embarked in the pouring rain, each of us with one end of the tree to participate in the annual Lion’s Club fundraising event.  We would ensure muddy paths would be covered in fresh chips of fragrant Christmas trees.  There were a few clues, it was not to be.  We were the only people carrying a tree.  There was no sound of a chipper echoing through the neighbourhood. 

The question of what to do with a dried-out tree, brought both of us to the exact same point in time.  The first Christmas that we celebrated together.  It was Spring and the discarded Christmas tree was still on the smaller of the decks in Brad’s party apartment that he shared with Dave.  This was the apartment where the residual of a good party was an eviction notice.  These were the years that we believed that the West End should be reserved for those people anxious to celebrate what life had to offer in downtown Vancouver. 

My very practical suggestion was to put one garbage bag over the top of the tree and one over the bottom so we wouldn’t drop needles in the hallway en route to the garbage bin.  These were the days before the green bin pick up.  Brad had other ideas.  His love for Science and Math and belief in his physical prowess produced a far more expedient option.  He could simply pick up the tree and throw it like a javelin towards the garbage bin in the back lane.  His strength and the momentum from the mass of the tree would allow it to sail to the garbage bin.  His story is that a breeze picked up and thwarted his plan.  After all it made it past MOST of the tiered balconies.  However, the thump on that last balcony was followed by the frantic sliding door being thrown open.  We both sunk down along with our backs to the wall and didn’t breathe.  Mission completed. 

Brad’s suggestion yesterday was to hold the tree high in the air and act like we were part of the end of 2020 celebratory parade.  Instead, we carried the tree back home to contemplate what to do with the dried-out Christmas tree.  Fortunately for the neighbours, we are older, wiser, and living on the ground floor.

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