Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Lights

By Vladimir Brezina

We always get our Christmas tree only a day or two before Christmas, barely hours before the Christmas-tree vendors in the streets pack up for their migration back north. We do this not just because we procrastinate (we do), but because Johna follows an older tradition. According to Wikipedia,

Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve (24 December) or, in the traditions celebrating Christmas Eve rather than on the first of day of Christmas, 23 December, and then removed the day after Twelfth Night (5 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck.

So, even as our neighbors’ Christmas trees are already out in the street for removal, our tree is only now reaching the peak of its transient glory—

Christmas tree lit, 2012DSC_0074 cropped smallDSC_0037 cropped smallDSC_0091 cropped smallDSC_0103 cropped smallDSC_0117 cropped smallDSC_0123 cropped small

Christmas Tree Light, The Old-Fashioned Way

By Vladimir Brezina

At this season, there are Christmas trees everywhere you look in the city, in stores, banks, apartment building lobbies. Most are only superficially decorated, standing under bright lights which reveal all there is to see at one glance, mere abstractions of the idea of the Christmas tree…

To me, a proper Christmas tree should be large, dark, mysterious, and excessive, full of possibilities. No doubt this is some Proustian attempt to recapture the Christmas trees of my childhood. I remember that Christmas trees were so much bigger then, with spreading branches that allowed glimpses into the dark interior where all kinds of ornaments glinted in the soft candlelight. (Many of the ornaments were wrapped candies that I hunted for in the days after Christmas…)

So, now that I have to be my own Santa Claus, a few rules: No artificial trees—it has to be a fragrant, real tree. As large as possible. Richly decorated. And above all, lit not by artificial Christmas lights, but by the unique, unmistakable glow of real candles!

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