Christmas Trees and Chanukah Bushes at Eastern Market

I’m Jewish, my wife, Denise, isn’t. We celebrate all of our holidays (somewhat) and are happier for it. I get my 8 gifts for the 8 days of Chanukah (actually, I first told Denise that there were 20 days of Chanukah – so I was “over-gifted” that year – she has since learned the truth… and now I get my usual lump of coal in my stocking. Easy…

Yeah — easy until you have to do the whole “tree thing” Whereas it is simple for Jewish people, we take out the menorah from a drawer, maybe clean out last year’s wax drippings, and stick in some candles corresponding to a secret ordering code — Mazel Tov! I’m done. But now I also do “Operation Tannenbaum”


Optimum live tree selection is a very tedious procedure. You apparently not only need to find the correct height, but there’s a “density of limbs” factor. The Detroit Eastern Market has a veritable Sherwood Forest of trees to choose among. This did NOT make the daunting task for me any easier. I consulted a tree expert who quickly pulled out a tree, slammed it’s trunk on the pavement, the limbs flung outwards, there it was, a full tree. It was a tad straggly on particular limbs. “Not a problem” – he stuck the hapless creature into some sort of metal rube-goldberg device probably originally conceived for a darker purpose of torture in a previous life…


…and pruned the limbs into a uniformity. Okay, but how the heck am I going to get this on the roof of the car and home? I told him I drive one of those new SMARTCARS… (not really, but I wanted to offer him a challenge) he told me – “not a problem” – and he walked over to another device, (no photo – sorry) which resembled a spoutless funnel made from welded sheet metal – on a larger scale. He fed the tree through said funnel, wrapping the tree (limbs pressed in) with twine. In a moment, I was holding what resembled a fuzzy elf corpse. A chanukah bush!

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