It was once believed widely (at least by members of my family) that babies came from storks and Christmas trees came from the YMCA.
This was where my brothers and I tagged along every year as my mother ruthlessly scrutinized every tree in the parking lot, seeking perfection. It was a limited selection, and nobody found it a bit surprising the year she bribed Mr. YMCA (if that was his name) to sell her a Scotch pine marked "Reserved" for the nuns at a local convent.
These days, there's a lot more choice and Christmas trees come from the Internet. One year, I ordered a six-foot-tall pine from a tree farm in Cadillac, Michigan; UPS delivered it in a cardboard box. For this holiday season, a tabletop Fraser fir comes in a pail, from Terrain. Shipping starts today:
Above: Approximately three feet tall, the Tabletop Fraser Fir comes in a galvanized pail; $58.
Above: Give the tree's trunk a new cut so it will absorb water and stay fresh longer.
Above: Named for 18th century Scottish botanist John Fraser, the fir gives off a light scent and has leaves that look like soft needles; they won't scratch you when you hang an ornament.