A Charlie Brown Christmas

2010/12/25 § 4 Comments

This is my version of Charlie Brown’s Lonely Christmas Tree (at least that’s what a friend of mine was reminded of when he saw it).

I’ve spent over three decades of Christmas holidays in my province, shuttling between the houses of my grandparents, who always had non-traditional christmas trees.  We’ve never had those big, extravagant, plastic ones.  { A godmother used to have this 10- feet tall white plastic Christmas Tree that was so grand, I always wanted to have exactly the same.  And I made every excuse to drop by her house even after I have already collected my gifts…}

My paternal grandparents used a live Chico tree in the front garden to hang packets and packets of lollipops with choco powder that I absolutely love.  I was more excited to get these than to open any of the gifts we had.  At the same time…the tree looked so lonely after all the packets are gone.  So I was always torn between getting my pops and leaving them on the tree.

They also had this ordinary looking tropical plant that majestically bursts with pompoms at Christmastime  that they adorn with glittery swags and failylights where all the gifts were placed.

My maternal grandparents Christmas tree was quite ahead of its time.  It was made of tall twigs in an aluminum canister wrapped in gold foil festooned with Christmas lights and vintage silver and gold flecked glass balls.  Wish I had a photo of this.  It is the quintessential minimalist baroque aesthetic.  And this was in the ’70s to the ’90’s.

In the city, I was a perennial houseguest at my best friend’s [ D ], home.  I’m a big fan of their decorating skills.  They always had a live tree in a big pot that was too fragile for heavy ornaments and was thus hung with velvet ribbons and light weight paper or styrofoam balls that were lovingly wrapped in beautiful printed japanese paper.

So when I finally had an apartment in the city, I also got myself  a real tree  that was lit with lights at Christmastime and filled with gifts at the base.  (Just a note, live trees are not really popular in the Philippines as everyone wants a copy of those big, fat, pine trees that don’t grow in our tropical climate).

One year, I bought a tall bamboo pole that I filled with clambering lights and glittery green grapes, gold twigs and red ponsettias wrapped around from top to bottom.  Quite over the top…but not really, considering that it’s one lean, straight bamboo pole…

This year in New York, my live rubber tree is hung with a few glass ornaments (four, to be exact) with a red ball that looks just like Charlie Brown’s one and only tree ornament.  I also draped these beautiful japanese cards sent to me by a friend over the years on the leaves and branches.  Then I had my Red Nosed Reindeer straddle the arm of my chair…and paid homage to a pine tree with a lush branch inside a vase.

And made wishes on candles blown from our petit Gateau Quatre-Quarts Citron

And no matter what our trees may be  – big, fat, tall and laden with ornaments that make our eyes and hearts sing or a twig with one ball or a ribbon, may we always remember what Christmas is all about as famously orated on stage by Linus…

A very, merry Christmas to one and all!!!



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