Thursday, December 25, 2008

Under the Christmas Tree

This is what it looks like on Chistmas Eve at my house.
Pepe is snuggled in his little bed (that Shaw made for him) under the tree.

This was a new kind of tree for us, a noble fir, I believe. It's a hard tree to decorate, because it's so bushy. For some reason the red and yellow lights on the Christmas light set didn't work so that set the theme. My daughter Shaw decided to use only blue and silver ornaments.

For years we argued about whether or not to get a real Christmas tree. The artificial trees seem to be returning in popularity, partly because they're so
kitschy, and partly because they don't use up natural resources. I understand the reasons to abstain from getting a real tree but I love the smell. I consider it partial compensation for taking the life of the tree that I buy the tree from a charity and we burn the tree after Christmas.

This was a practice that began when I was a college student. It was great fun to drag the tree out onto the street and light it on fire. (Warning: don't try this at home! Christmas trees are highly flammable.) As I matured, instead of burning the tree in front of the house, I would take it to the beach on Candlemas and burn it. I remember doing this with a boyfriend, Jerry, huddled in the cold wind on a beach in the Pacific Northwest, with our daughters running around waving branches with lit ends, and making patterns in the darkness, like sparklers. For the past ten or fifteen years, I've burned my tree at the Summer Solstice bonfire. That means storing it in the closet. I cut off the branches and store the bare tree trunk, along with garbage bags full of the branches and needles. It makes the closet smell like Christmas for half the year.

Happy celebrations to you.


Greenconsciousness said...

If you love the smell make wreaths and orange Pomanders, boil potpourri and decorate a live tree outside. Kill a tree, watch it die slow in the house -- it transforms from evergreen to a symbol of death without rebirth. The anti truth of the Winter Solstice which births the sun not the son.

And then there are all the obvious reasons. All this plant knowledge and you could not think of any way to trigger your comfort but by killing a tree?

I believe people should do what they want but I had to question this from you.

Anonymous said...

Your tree is lovely...but let me assure you that using real trees does not harm the natural resources. Xmas tree farmers work hard to maintain resources, in fact many plant two for every one tree cut. Also xmas tree farming is another small business (usualy family run) that we can support, just like local produce.

As for burning the tree, we also burn our tree, but we do it as part of our 12th Night Celebration as we sing the last of the carols and a final "Goodbye to Christmastide".