So, given the debate over Christmas trees and some two way e-reprimanding between me and my mother, I decided to put my holiday decorating where my mouth was and experiment with an “ecological” bamboo Christmas tree. Bamboo grows like weeds – quickly and invasively. Two of the empty lots coming up our street are thickly overgrown with it. I sent C down one evening to chop off a good sized pole for my festive ambitions. It looked great in the vase and really brightened up a forgotten corner of our living room. But when I strung it up with the first string of lights it quickly bent over under the weight. This I solved by rigging it up with fishing wire to a few thumbtacks in the ceiling. It wouldn’t tolerate too many decorations, so I settled on a few plastic silver bobbles and some silver dipped miniature pinecones. All of this had to be done with dish gloves on because even though bamboo leaves look delicate and tame they are actually razor sharp little monsters.
I was extremely proud of my efforts for about three days until I realized that an ant highway had been set up between the living room window and my new Christmas tree. At first I hoped that they had been brought in with the tree and were now on a mass relocation exodus, but it became quickly apparent that the opposite was true and my holiday decoration was their new home. Then overnight all the leaves rolled and started dropping off. C suggested it might actually look cool without leaves, a sort of spiky postmodern commentary on a Christmas tree. But Dharma (an incorrigible leaf and flower eater) took a liking to the dead leaves (mmmm, crunchy) and after twice cleaning up post leaf consumption vomit, I cut the whole crumbling bug infested mess down and chucked it into the lot next door -- a week before Christmas.
But in the end, my friend Mika saved Christmas.
A few years ago she heard me complaining that C was a bit of a scrooge and wasn’t in full support of my desire to spend money on a tree. She showed up at my house with a loving gift of a tiny spruce tree with miniature decorations. The spruce didn’t make it to Brazil, but the decorations did, along with a number of origami boxes she made as gifts for her wedding guests. Cute, right? (The bonsai however has seen better days. It’s still making a slow recovery from C’s neglect the last time I traveled to the yoga center.)
Thanks Mika! I miss you!