IF THE TREE IN MY PARLOR IS ANY INDICATION, Christmas has arrived at A Garden for the House. Would you like to see some of the baubles — and yes, beagles — that ornament the boughs? Here they are, along with a few thoughts on treating, lighting, and decorating this evergreen symbol of the holidays:
Treating a tree. To keep a tree fresh through the holidays, be sure to saw off at least one inch of the tree’s base (usually the seller will do this for you). Then set the tree in a stand with a good-sized basin, and fill the basin with water. As evaporation occurs — and this will be daily — add more water. Turn off nearby radiators, too. A pine tree can’t be expected to hold onto its needles in a room that is hot and dry.
Decorating: I’ll admit that a tree dressed in all blue, all gold, or all silver balls can look elegant. But only if that tree is located in a department store. At home, I think decoration should be a personal statement that follows no set of rules. Use whatever ornaments you’ve collected over the years, including those you or your children were forced to make in elementary school.
I made such a bauble as a first-grader in the 1960s. It was a little snowman. He was crafted from marshmallows, with green sequins for eyes and a cone-shaped hat made from red construction paper. My mother kept this relic until 2006, and then foolishly sent it to me. I say “foolishly” because the little snowman crashed to the floor last December, where it was quickly discovered — and eaten — by Lily the Beagle.
Ah, 40 years of history. Gone in a single gulp.
And here are just some of the trinkets on this year’s tree:
Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet?
And now I feel a song by Herman’s Hermits coming on.
It’s worth traveling to Paris just to obtain Christmas souvenirs.
Obviously, someone around here has a foot-fetish.
After we adopted Lily (you can read her story here), friends sent us Beagle ornaments. The one above features an actual photo of Lily in a doghouse frame.
It may seem odd to you that you that we placed an 18-inch tall doll atop the tree. But she wasn’t always a doll. Originally she was an angel. An angel with magnificent, feathered wings. Then Lily the Beagle discovered the angel in a box in the laundry room. As you can imagine, the angel’s wings went the same way as my marshmallow snowman.Yes, Lily, I’m talking about you.
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