FTLComm - Bjorkdale - December 24, 1998  
Getting our own Christmas tree is a long standing tradition in our family dating back to 1980 when we first moved to the Yukon and since then we have only purchased a tree a couple of times. Since we go out and find a tree each year we also like to put up our Christmas Tree as close to Christmas as we can, which usually means Christmas Eve. This year we will be busy tonight, so the acquisition and putting up of the tree took place wednesday night.

We have found that in many areas small spruce trees that would be mowed down because they are growing along road sides, make ideal Christmas trees. This year's tree came from a road allowance ditch just West of Bjorkdale.

The temperature was -24 so that meant we had to dress warmly as you can see Tim II is tucked right into his winter survival gear. The 15 knot wind and blowing snow, though typical winter conditions, were fairly hostile to Andrew, Tim II and I but we prevailed. The biggest task was attaching the little tree to the
roof of Andrew's Jeep. After two failed attempt to toss a light rope across the tree Tim II expressed his affection for the cold and wind as he was holding the tree while Andrew and I tried to tie it down. "Yeah, Like that's gonna Work!" I went to the windward side and got the rope in place but this little process was the coldest part of the expedition.

The thirty minute drive back to Tisdale was the easy part, though there was a ground drift on the North/South portion of the highway.

A quick snip or two and the bottom was trimmed off and this year's glorious little tree was ready for the living room. Tim II set to work putting on the lights and Judy began the process of adding a family's collection of trinkets and treasures that make up the trimmings of our tree.

It really didn't matter this year or other years what the tree looked like because it is the decorations that make the tree a part of each year's celebrations. Either a massive piece of forest that needed support wires or a spindly little Charlie Brown of a tree, each year's representative, is a symbol of our connection with each other and the glowing presence of both our reliance upon each other and the certainty that we have, that no matter what the condition of the frame work in which we find ourselves, with our collective good spirits we can succeed, as we have, year after year. The tree like, the circumstances of our lives is somehow beyond our control, but the decorations, the collection of our experiences and achievement can take the dowerest of situations and manifest a positive reality that will add to our continued progress.

So it is that Christmas, each year is a renewal of our own quest together, as a family, as a community. We take our
traditions as part of what we are and continue to build on them knowing that once again in a year's time we will have the comfort of expectation in things that are familiar and the good spirits of one year transcend to the next multiplying as we go along.

May the peace and harmony of Christmas join you and your family as you cherish tomorrow adding it to the collective good spirits of your traditions. Merry Christmas everyone.