Friday, December 14, 2012
The Christmas decorations finally came out at my house and the tree went up. Some years this doesn't happen, but this year I felt a great longing to fill the house with lights. For me, Christmas is about 4 things: Lights, because we are approaching the solstice, the longest night of the year, gnomes and elves, because I love Scandinavian decorations, food, of course, and woodland decorations, like the walnut ornament you see above. This fall I stopped by a Sons of Norway garage sale (Sons of Norway is a fraternal organization (although a woman was instrumental in its creation) created by Norwegian immigrants in the late 1800s dedicated to preserving the traditions of Norway while focusing on good citizenship http://www.sofn.com/about_us/showPage.jsp?document=History.html). I didn't know anything about the organization at that time, but the women who were running the sale were kind and some of them had on some fabulous Scandinavian jewelry. While there, I picked up this handmade set of 12 gilded walnut ornaments. 10 cents for all!! That is a serious old-school garage sale price :) Perfect for my tree, since I favor a simple, monochromatic look.
I took some serious flak from about half my friends and acquaintances because I have an artificial tree.
Especially because I live in the Pacific Northwest, where most of the nation's live Christmas trees come from.
What can I say----I did many years with live trees, but I also am a person who enjoys kitsch, so a few years ago, when a flood of weirdly colored trees came out (pink! purple! black, even!) I got this modest all white tree. If I could afford one of those vintage aluminum trees from the 50s, I would probably have one of those too :) Something about the garish, fantasy-ness of things like this pleases my soul. And then to adorn an artificial tree with natural ornaments--well that sums up my aesthetic perfectly.
Whatever your aesthetic is, Happy Winter to you, and I hope you are finding some peace in these weeks of holiday madness :)