I’m not actually going to do it although my dog has already tried. I debated the practicality of putting up a tree I can only enjoy for a couple of weeks before I return to Miami for Christmas. I decided to be sensible and forgo it until the sweet Vermont hippie who sells trees at the end of my block offered me a little Charlie Browner as fat as it was tall. It just had to come home with me.
It was few years before it occurred to me that I could put up my own tree. Growing up, I’d always thought home would be my mother’s house in Miami until I started my own family. Eventually I sent myself to school in New York and stayed there. Still, the original concept I had as a child lingered, like an idea that only has its own word in a dead language. With every passing year in my Cobble Hill apartment, it felt less temporary and more like home. I stopped saving Christmas for a few days in Miami.
I only let myself buy ornaments after December 26th each year so I have a mix of overlooked but still very pretty decorations, like orphans from central casting. The tree itself is so chubby that I had to bury a lot of the figures just inside the branches so they peek out. I love everything about this tree. I love the floating mandarin in the mushroom hat, I love the mouse in snow boots, I love the polish black and white glass balls, I love the dancer en pointe, I love the peacock…
My tree is sweet just to the point before it becomes saccharine. So naturally, I now want to eat it. But since that would hurt, I’m having people over to enjoy it with me instead. Before everyone goes there separate ways for Christmas, I decided to have a few friends over for a buche de noel. I’ve been dying to make one and it is the traditional time for it. Not being french, it’s not my rule to break.