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, first spray its branches with anti-transpirant, such as Wilt-Pruf. I spray mine before it comes indoors. Next, saw off at least one inch of the tree’s base (usually the seller will do this for you). Thirdly, 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. Finally, turn off nearby radiators. Even a tree that has been sprayed with anti-transpirant 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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