O (Fake) Christmas Tree

Dolly Marlowe

Dolly Marlowe is a chanteuse, writer, vintage living maven, professional pinup girl, cabaret showgirl, and self-proclaimed "girliest of girls." She can be found on Twitter @dollymarlowe

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7 Responses

  1. DensityDuck says:

    Very sweet. Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

    I had an artificial tree that I got into the habit of putting up at my office. It started the year after my short employment in Pennsylvania, where my family lived, ended due to a lack of work; I moved back to California, and while I was going to travel back to Pennsylvania for the holiday I felt pretty rotten that I’d had to leave at all. So I figured “well I spend most of my waking day at work, and the cats wouldn’t stay out of the damn tree anyway, so what the hell, I’ll put one up in the office where I’ll actually get to see it.”

    And that just became a thing for me; every Christmas I’d put up a tree at the office, even after I got married and we put up a tree at home.

    And in the fullness of time we left California, and I was wondering whether it was worth bothering to take the tree along — just one more dang thing to pack up — and a guy at the office had just gotten married and was talking about the amusing holes in his and his wife’s collection of things, like, “neither of us has a toaster! ha ha ha!” So I said “hey, do you want this tree? Take the lights and the ornaments, too.”

    He messaged me later and said that when he walked in the door with the tree his wife’s eyes just lit up, because that was another thing that neither of them owned, and now they would have one for their first Christmas. Maybe they still have it, maybe they don’t, but for the one year that it mattered it did, and I didn’t have to have thrown away a Christmas tree because it was inconvenient to move.Report

    • My first year in college, living in a high-rise dorm, I was shopping for something and the store had these cheap little 18-inch plastic Christmas trees prewired with colored lights. I bought one on the spur of the moment and set it up in my dorm room’s big window. That window was on the side of the building that faced the dining hall. At that time of year, what with early sunset and frequent overcasts, from the dining hall the wall was just a big looming thing with a hundred blank and mostly dark windows. I hadn’t realized just how gloomy that wall was until I saw the little lit Christmas tree in my window. I don’t think there was a dinner the rest of the semester where I didn’t hear someone asking, “Is the Christmas tree lit tonight?” or pausing at a window and looking at it for a moment. I always like to think people were having memories like these.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    A lovely little story. Part of the thing about traditions that I didn’t appreciate (until it was too late) was that it’s about remembering things and giving other people things to remember. It creates a chain between the generations. And the chain can be good and not just bad.

    Thank you for this.Report

  3. fillyjonk says:

    I have an artificial tree, because in normal years I travel for Christmas but also want a tree. (And here, it’s harder to come by real trees that aren’t red cedar, and those things would set off my allergies).

    One thing I find myself doing these past couple years is trolling the vintage shops on Etsy in the months before Christmas, looking for ornaments similar to ones we had when I was a kid – this year I found a set of fairy skaters identical to ones we had, and for not very much money.

    I know it won’t bring back the good old times (most of my family Christmases were happy when I was a kid) but it makes remembering them easier. It’s become more important to me since the loss of my father.

    My mom used to be a hardcore live-tree enthusiast, but this year, with me not there to help her put it up, she wound up buying a small artificial one. I don’t know if that will be what we have in Christmas 2021 (please God let it be safe to travel then and let both her and me be this side of the dirt), but for now it seems a reasonable replacement.Report

  4. ornaments says:

    My grandfather would hand me a glass ornament, like he was handing me a rare artifact, each one with a special story or meaning. I held my breath a little each time, fearful that I might drop and break one. But my grandfather never flinched.Report