Tag Archives: Christmas tree

Shiny, shiny goodness

My sister hasn’t taken down her Christmas lights yet.

Lou's lights













I think she should leave up everything — except the tree — year round.

Who’s with me?

POV on Christmas trees

I like to do things a little differently.

But would I have the guts to have a Christmas tree…

upside down tree…that was upside down?

This whackadoodle pre-lit fir tree is available on Hammacher Schlemmer.  They trace its origins back to a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas.

Its unique shape also allows you to place your tree in small places, since the base is its narrowest point.

It kinda makes sense for someone like me — a New York City apartment dweller with very limited floor space.  But just looking at it makes me a bit dizzy.  I start having Poseidon Adventure flashbacks (and who wants to think about that film over the holidays?).

No, I think I will stick with my the traditional Christmas tree for now.  And keep my dinner down.

Monster tree

Nothing makes the season bright like a sense of humor.

godzilla tree
Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall, Tokyo Japan

Do you see what I see

It’s the weekend before Christmas…

tiny tree

And someone is playing with the photo editor on their phone.

It’s just a tiny tree on the dresser in my bedroom. But with a few minor adjustments, I have created an icy winter wonderland.

(But my toes are still toasty warm!)

If a tree falls

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, What’s next for you we should discuss.

You grace our homes with twinkle lights,  Then hug the curb — that’s just not right.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Plus, my dog pees on you.

A lot.

Xmas in a box

The late night shows debuted their holiday decor this week.

You can tell a lot about a host by his tinsel.

Dave, Jimmy and Jimmy have gone the more traditional route — the scatter of lights, poinsettias, a tree or two.  Their sets look festive in the way you might expect.  Heck, they may be using last year’s decorations.

Who would notice?

You  will definitely remember Conan’s. His approach to trimming the set this year is more akin to projectile vomiting.  His stage makes Clark Griswold’s house look dark and neglected.  Dinosaurs.  Giant sandwiches.  A robot rabbi.

It’s gawdy and fabulous, but people with pacemakers best beware.

In sharp contrast, Craig Ferguson’s stage still suffers from bad lighting and leaks from the rain.  He seems filled with the Christmas spirit, but his budget extends only to a small, lighted desktop tree — that he plugged in with a flourish — and a Santa cap for Geoff Peterson, his robot skeleton sidekick.

Funny.  After watching both shows, I realized I preferred the simplicity of Craig’s display.  It has that authentic Charlie Brown quality, whereas Conan’s feels like the need to show off…to splatter his ego and budget all over the place to prove that he is back in the game.

Rudolph syndrome, no doubt.

Chill, CoCo.

Hit me baby

Have you ever wanted to — how should I say this — open a big can of whoop ass on Santa?

The holiday hustle and bustle is getting to you, and the idea of taking it out on the guy in the red suit would be somewhat cathartic?

Here’s your chance.

California artist Michael Oddo, who is internationally known for his work in oil, has created a line of wooden ornaments that depict St. Nick, that jolliest of elves, being tortured, executed, beaten, electrocuted and — coming soon — hanged by an evil dwarf.

Ho Ho No!

Oddo didn’t premeditate these crimes against Christmas.  Four years ago, he was invited to an ornament exchange party where everyone was required to make their own.  His annoyance with the event — and at how much money people spend on the holidays overall — resulted in his first “Suffering Santa” wooden ornament:  Santa on a guillotine, his head in a basket.

People at the party lost theirs over the wooden masterpiece — sorry, it had to be said — and Oddo found himself taking orders for more.  He hasn’t built a website, but he does takes online orders on his Facebook page (once he friends you, of course).  They run around $100 each.  And he says he is open to licensing his ornaments to a major retailer if there is interest.

Wonder if Oddo minds how much money people spend on Christmas now?

My kind of tree

New York City.  It’s one of the greenest cities in America.

So…why isn’t our Christmas tree?

Look at Sydney.

For three years running, Australia’s largest city has displayed a recycled holiday tree in The Rocks shopping district.  Their “Tree-Cycle” is constructed out of 100 bicycles that were destined for the recycling center. Instead, the bike frames were painted green and the tires multi-color hues to mimic lights.  Then they were hinged together into a 23-foot tall tree.

It took some eight weeks to build, but I think you’ll agree — the final product is magnificent.  (Last year, Sydney’s recycled tree was made of  bottles; in 2008, it was chairs.)

Go Sydney.

Cities stateside are also beating NYC to the green tree punch.  Santa Monica and Emeryville, California both have ‘shopping cart trees’ designed by artist Anthony Schmitt.  And Stratford, Connecticut is working on a tree constructed of old oil tanks and industrial products.

The Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center is seen by thousands of people from all around the world each year.  Think of the green message it could send — both at home and abroad — that would be heard long after the tree comes down and the ice skaters have gone home.

Rockefeller Center, whadda ya say?

New York City, are you in?

Speed demon

How many speeds do you have?

I seem to operate at two — off and hyper-speed.

Take New Year’s Day, for instance.  Other than walking Rory in the neighborhood and feeding us both, I sat on the couch and watched the encore presentation of “Little Dorrit” on PBS — all nine hours.  This amazing mini-series based on the lesser-known Charles Dickens classic won an Emmy last year…but even I admit, that’s a lot of TV in one sitting.

But at off speed, it was all I wanted to do.

In contrast, today I am on hyper-speed.  By noon, I had walked the dog, taken down the Christmas tree, removed every holiday decoration from the apartment, re-boxed everything and put it back in the closet (reorganizing it in the process), cleaned the entire place, and washed, dried, folded and put away five loads of laundry.

And now I’m writing my blog before the midday walk with Rory.  I might even run some errands and see a movie this afternoon.


I don’t know the biology behind it, but I would guess yesterday’s sloth gave me the stored up energy to breeze through my chores today.  I just know I’m still going strong, and it feels good.

Rory, on the other hand, is taking a full-out nap.

His speed is very consistent: dog mode.

Discarded holidays

Isn’t there a saying about how Americans rush to our entertainment…and then rush just as quickly to leave it?

I thought about that this week during my walks with Rory in the neighborhood.

Even in the days preceding Christmas, trees already lie abandoned on the edge of the sidewalk, awaiting our three-days-a-week garbage pickup.

How quickly we rush to Christmas, many people putting up their trees before Thanksgiving…and then scurry again to take them down once the presents are opened and faraway family and friends have returned to their homes.

When I was a child, we put the tree up a mere week before Christmas.  I imagine that tradition was fueled in part by my mother’s fear of fire, since we always had a real tree.  Watering it every day was my job, as was turning off the lights should the tree ever be unattended.

I carry my mother’s caution — and tradition — about live Christmas trees with me to this day.

When I do put up a tree, it’s usually five days or so before the holiday, but I like to leave it up until New Year’s Day,  if it’s not too dried out. There’s something especially magical about a Christmas tree after all the hubbub is over, and you can simply sit and enjoy it’s color and sparkle.

It reminds me of the best of my childhood.  And I’m in no rush to forget it.