The Christmas Tree & the Dolly Tub

Christmas tree in an antique dolly tub
Christmas tree in an antique dolly tub

Michael Buble is playing Christmas tunes softly in the background, the windows are open, and the tree is all lit up. Yes, it’s the weekend after Thanksgiving, and there’s a certain buzz in the house… and on the streets as the traffic piles up around the malls and every shopping center in town. We’ve been eating leftover turkey for two days and it seems like there’s no end of turkey in sight (we’re having turkey enchiladas for dinner). But as long as it’s decked out with plenty of cranberry sauce and a healthy side of German potato salad, that’s okay by me. Or enchilada sauce and cheese.

I was inspired by Pinterest (nothing new there) for our Christmas tree stand this year. About a year and a half ago, I was disappointed by the closing of the local Fresh Market, my morning stop off for a $1 cup of amazing coffee and a friendly smile and the occasional lunch of cucumber tomato salad. The result of Fresh Market closing (besides depriving me of my daily walk for coffee) was that they sold everything in the store – even their decor. So I arrived home one evening last May, dragging a large antique dolly tub through the door (along with about five bottles of pure vanilla… and about five – six – seven? bottles of wine). For those who aren’t familiar with the magic of the dolly tub, they were used 100 years ago for washing clothes and (if I’m not mistaken) shipping laundry detergent. Their corrugated metal exterior made for the perfect scrubbing side, and many of them, like mine, have a handle that doubles as a soap dish. What could be more picturesque and a beautiful, green, needle-y, brightly lit tree in an antique corrugated tub?!

Pup-approved Christmas tree stand
Pup-approved Christmas tree stand

Likely my husband’s least favorite phrase to hear me utter is, “How hard would it be… ” Once a week or so, I’ll start with this phrase, and it’s usually followed by a weeks-long (months-long?) (okay, okay, often years-long) project. (“How hard would it be to build a deck off the back of the house?” “How hard would it be to add a patio off the deck?” “How hard would it be to partially close in our garage to make an interior laundry room/mud room/butler’s pantry combo?” “How hard would it be to install a fireplace in the house?” (Still haven’t gained any traction on that one.) “How hard would it be to turn our 1.5 bathrooms into 2 full bath rooms?” “How hard would it be to build this vanity?” (The last one whilst holding up a photo from Pinterest.)) So really, by my usual standards, “How hard would it be to put our Christmas tree in the dolly tub?” is fairly tame. And, from the look of it, it was a pretty quickie project, only involving two extra-large landscaping bricks, half a bag of sand, a miter saw, a piece of plywood, a torpedo level, and a couple of pieces of twine for safe measure.

The result is that the Christmas-tree-in-the-dolly-tub might be a new tradition around here. We got a little extra lift on our tree for no extra money (besides the supplies that we had laying around), and I love how it lifts the tree up off the floor, making for easy vacuuming of needles and dog hair. AND (perhaps most importantly in this house), it keeps that lowest rung of ornaments a bit higher off of the floor, and a bit farther from enthusiastically wagging tails of 80-pound dogs.

Christmas tree in an antique dolly tub
Christmas tree in an antique dolly tub

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