How are you? I know it’s been awhile. Frankly, I fell into a bit of a mental rabbit hole and needed a break — time to escape with a few Sue Grafton mysteries, watch old movies, and putter around my kitchen. Has this happened to you?
By now you probably have your tree up, most of us do. But you may not, or you may still be perfecting the decoration of it, or maybe you decided you didn’t really want a tree this year. This “Covid year” is a challenge in so many ways and we have a few more months to go.
As I was scrolling thru Instagram last night (and I am always scrolling thru Instagram!), I started thinking about what a personal statement a Christmas tree is.
For some it’s a slice of personal history, ornaments the kids made (you know, the beloved popsicle stick Santas). Many of those trees are also decked with signs of a family’s interests — mini Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty souvenirs, tiny replicas of golf bags, basketballs, and sports cars, tiny picture frames with tooth-y grins, salt-dough figurines.
We hang a lot of ourselves on a Christmas tree.
Some of the Instagram trees are a decorator’s masterpiece. Color-coded glass balls with matching garlands of ribbon and flowers. I’m frankly dazzled by these trees, but if I committed to a theme, I’d also have to eliminate all the ornaments that didn’t fit. Or, decorate a second tree!
Others are artfully spare, just a tree and some lights. Some trees are propped in rustic buckets or boxes, others strike a more glamorous pose on a table surrounded with coordinating decor. One of my favorites, below, is one of the 12 trees by Courtney Allison @frenchcountrycottage with lots of lights, a veritable party of ornaments and sitting in an antique bucket. Her stylist touch is one of the prettiest and most natural around. (This may be my tree goal in 2021).
I’m personally attracted to tiny trees, like my bottle brush forest, which grows annually.
But then there are others, deceptively simple in their charm. I love the simplicity of this tree, below. For me it holds the same magical promise of the season as the sparkling lights and ornaments on our own tree in the living room.
This is one of those years — and we all have them — where tradition goes out the window and we have to improvise on the holiday. We didn’t have family and friends around the table on Thanksgiving, and we won’t be descending on my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas. My forty-odd year string of holiday open houses has been rudely interrupted. Anyone who knows me knows I’m missing all of that. But, we are all healthy. For that I’m very grateful.
When I sit beside our tree with morning coffee or a book in the afternoon, or Steve and I have a glass of wine there before dinner, I relish the sense of calm. Christmas comes with its own brand of magic, peace, hope and memories. It’s nice to be surrounded by the familiar in an otherwise strange, even scary time. And there is a little light ahead at the end of a long, dark tunnel. The vaccinations have begun. That’s something to hang on to. A kind of hope. Maybe like the Christmas star?
I hope your days ahead are filled with joy, hope, something good to eat & drink and — most of all — good health. Happy, happy holiday!