It looks like a gift, but it keeps the tree watered

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December 17, 2005|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Yes, you deserve an early Christmas present. And, yes, we mean you - the one who gets stuck watering old tannenbaum every year. On your hands and knees. Dodging boughs. Smacking into ornaments.

Heather Shepardson, a Colorado-based inventor and entrepreneur with a background in product development, came up with a fix from all that unpleasantness. It's called the Ever-Green Watering System.

It's a device that sits under your Christmas tree, posing as a wrapped package and even sporting a pretty red bow.

But inside the "package" is a reservoir (which feeds into a tube, which gets placed into your tree stand and works on gravity) that holds 2.7 gallons of water. That's enough to quench your tree's thirst for four to eight days. (Large trees and really fresh ones tend to drink a lot.)

"I just took the initiative on something that's actually a longtime family tradition," Shepardson says. "My grandfather did it with a bucket. My father did it with a piece of Tupperware." Her interior decorator-mother wanted something that looked nicer.

The "package" is made of a matte-finish plastic and measures 10-by-10-inches and is 8 inches tall.

It costs about $20 and is available at some Ace Hardware stores (for locations, see acehardware.com), and through the Web site evergreenseasons.com.

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