Yesterday while it howled and gusted outside Adrien and I stayed burrowed in our little appartment and put up our tree. It was a two-day affair, begining on Saturday, owing to the fact that we were seduced into getting a biggish tree and then realized that it would not fit into our stand, with only 30mins to get to Canadian Tire. We made it but then had to go out and leave our naked tree in its new stand while we went to a friend's place for shabu-shabu (yum). On Sunday we got to sleep in and then decorate the tree at our leisure. The blizzard must have been terrible for anyone who needed to venture out, but I must say that it made for perfect tree-trimming weather.
Yesterday evening, sitting with tea and warm gingerbread, I oogled the tree and felt a considerable amount of gratitude. In part simply for the tree itself. It is my favorite yuletide symbol, and always seems like the focal point of the home during the holy-days. And o tannenbaum 2007 is a particularly gorgeous specimen if I do say so myself (although I fall in love with my trees every year, it is impossible not to when they are so alive and cheerfull and smell like a forest). In part I felt glad for the oodles of gifts crowded under the branches. But mainly I was feeling grateful for all the baubles and gems glittering away on the tree. The first time I celebrated Christmas away from home all I had was a tiny little tree (maybe a live one in a pot?) and a box of generic wooden toy ornaments. That was better than nothing, and very cute but still, not the same. It has now been ten years or so since I moved out and this year it really feels like I have my own grown up tree. For one thing it's big - 6.5 feet. For another, the adornments all have meaning to me. The wooden toys are still there, but after so many Decembers together, they have started to feel a lot less generic. There are the pale blue lantern-like glass ornaments I found at a hardware store (of all places) a few years ago. There is the silly sheep wearing stripy blue & white socks and stars on its head that I found when my brother and I went the the Christmas Shoppe in the Old Port when he came to visit. There are the lovely origami-paper-covered seashells from dear friends in Japan. There are the three silver stars that came from Andrea & Will's wedding. There is the airplane with a working propellar that my parents gave Adrien. There are all the elfish looking Santas I have collected here and there. There are the covorting ceramic snowmen (not actually on the tree, but near it, on my altar) which were painted by mom either when she was pregnant with me or when I was still just a wee thing. And there are this year's additions; sparkly mini-Christmas trees and hanging strings of beads made from the treasures mom gave me last time I was home. And so even though I was being a bit of a grouch yesterday (truth be told) I still ended the day gazing at a tree, encircled by dancing lights, and ladden with pleasant memories of my Christmases past.
I would love to post photos of my tree-of-wonder but alas my scanner is not working and so the photos I would be too lazy to get developed could not be transfered anyway. I have decided to splurge and get a digital camera soon, but I think I will wait for the post-holiday sales. Once I have my new camera I will be sure to take some pictures of the yule*tree before we take it down. Oh and some photos of Griffin in his Christmas collar (it is like a court jester's collar, green and red, with glittery stars and he LOVES it).
Photos: Snowtime in New York puzzle by Bill Bell; Montréal's Old Port in winter from Getty (Image Source Black?); Water drops on Spruce by Jon Tove Johansson (from Getty); Decorations on tree by VEER Ellen Denuto (from Getty); Candy cane and a Christmas bauble by Stefan Ek (from Getty); Christmas ball-girl by Patience Brewster; Santa dancing with the tree from Paper D'art; Christmas tree and stars by Michele Constantini (once again from Getty).