Tuesday, December 7, 2010


If you have read The Fir Tree, you might understand how I come to be completely unable to have a real Christmas tree. The story is pretty fucking intense. If you don't agree, you must have read some disneyfied version that skips the tree's loneliness and agony. I'd include some illustrative excerpts, but I don't want to drag you into my dark world. 

Perhaps because this story was read to me at a tender age and my mother never allowed us to have a Christmas tree because it was cruel to kill trees, and perhaps because I happen to be overburdened with empathy for living things, a Christmas tree has never been possible for me. I understand that in principle it's no different from picking a head of lettuce, but this is not about logic, it's about emotion.

Anyway, Mr. Bunny and I are staying home this Christmas all by ourselves, and we're working on generating our own traditions. After discussing my immobility on the question of real trees*, Mr. Bunny raised the possibility of a fake tree. I was ambivalent. I mean, fake plants? Yuck. But on the other hand, perhaps it would work. So we purchased Sidney (Mr. Bunny named him). We shelled out the big bucks for true needle technology. He's a "baby napa redwood". (Sure he is, people at fake trees dot com.) We decorated him yesterday, and while I miss the piney smell and the magic of having a tree in your house (a TREE! in your HOUSE! I've experienced it at other people's places), Sidney is a total success in terms of simulating Christmasness. Mr. Bunny is thrilled. More to the point, I got to make the tree skirt pictured below, which features trim with those little jiggley balls. I LOVE THAT SHIT! I'd decorate my FACE with it if I could.

(Why yes, that ornament IS a potato.)

*If you're like you should get a live tree, you must a) think I live on a farm where I can plant an endless succession of trees or b) want me to tell you some stories about the long-suffering live trees I've witnessed...weighed down by ornaments, clearly contemplating suicide... not for me, thanks.


  1. Who wouldn't want DANGLY BALLS in their FACE? I mean, really? No, really, I am in lurv with your tree skirt (mine is nice, but tiz not handmade). And I like yer potato. That's not a euphemism (wink, wink). (We have Star Wars ornaments, Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments, and loads of various types of regular and sock monkeys on our tree. And shiny dangly balls, of course.)

  2. we have a potato, too. all the most discriminating trees do.

    i presume you have a pickle to hide?

  3. Sidney is awfully pretty.

    One year I made the tree out of cardboard. I quite liked it, but it received a lukewarm reception with some less discerning people.

  4. i banned a real tree this year. last year, we got a huge huge real tree as usual, and later that night, dh had to leave for a business trip. when i woke up the next morning, there were hundreds of bugs within a 3 foot radius of the tree and it was NASTAY. never again. i wanted a cardboard tree this year but dh wouldn't hear of it, so we are without a tree this year :o)

  5. We do have a pickle to hide, but not a potato... will consider that for our own traditions, once we get to the point of making them :)

  6. I LOVE my fake Christmas tree. It's tall and skinny and fits oh-so-perfectly in my teeny, er, COZY house. Last year after Christmas I bought an armful of Mrs. Myers pine+vanilla soy candles that were super marked down, so that's what I've been burning to capture that lurvely outdoorsy smell. My all-time fave thing about the tree? That all three of my cats squish their fat asses under it to nap the day away like furry lil' presents. So so cute. I think that they think we erected the tree just for them.

    One of my childhood friend's family had what I think is the sweetest Christmas tree tradition. They always had two trees, one with regular holiday ornaments and one of which they decorated only with handmade ornaments created from pictures each year. There were 5 kids, so at some point they'd go through the year's pictures, and they'd together make 5-7 ornaments from those pictures. Looking at their Christmas tree every year was like looking through an old photo album. Some of the ornaments were the crude popsicle stick variety, some more crafty and ornate as the years went along. THAT IS THE SHIT THAT MAKES ME WANT TO BE A MOTHER. I *will* have one of these trees, dammit.

  7. Of course we have a pickle to hide!

  8. We also have a fake tree, mostly because the logistics of dragging a live tree up to our third floor apartment and the trail of needles it would inevitably leave behind. We put up our tree this weekend and I demanded we go get a tree-smelling candle to make it feel a bit more Christmas-y.

    I never read that story...may have to check it out now.

  9. Cute tree skirt! Way to pom-pom it out, sister.

  10. The needle technology is cutting edge after all. It's what they use in guilly suits these days.

    I am a tree killer, I confess. I am thinking of going fake, but I am sure that I'd end up with a teal tree (our last fake tree was white after all). That said, you can get that same smell from an evergreen arrangement, or simply by snipping a branch from around town. I made an entire centerpiece from mandarin oranges and a felled pine branch at my sisters when she refused to dress up her turkey table. It smelled divine and no tree was harmed in the process.

  11. Godammit Bunny.

    You are right.


  12. Sidney is stunning, and his royal skirt with jiggley balls really suits him. Not only does she write, teach, cook, garden, and create life inside her uterus, but she also sews. You're amazing Bunny! You are.

    Glad you opted for a beautiful fake tree instead harvesting a live one.

  13. Sidney. Haha. Love the name :)
    We had a fake tree all while I was growing up because my dad was allergic to the real ones. Then he left and my mom couldn't afford a real one.
    So, now, every year we do a REAL tree. I love it :). In Louisiana every year, the old Christmas trees are used for rebuilding the coastline, which is cool. I think ours just ends up as mulch...
    I love that treeskirt, too!

  14. Awwwww....I like Sidney:) And I like your tree skirt. I am trying to imagine your face decorated with a tree skirt...nah, I think it's better on the tree.

    Good for you for being so principled, although the idea of true needle technology leaves me speechless.

  15. And here I thought you'd be just all-round anti-Christmas.

    I love Twangy's idea of the cardboard tree. Clearly I am most discerning.