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O Tannenbaum

Silver tree, tiny white lights and a pink flamingo

Nov./Dec. 2022

by Margo Oxedine

They’re sneaking up, and they’re about to pounce: The holidays. If it hasn’t already, the madness will soon begin.

Margo OxendineSo, I guess it’s time to talk about Christmas trees. Some folks who love the holidays put up their tree on Thanksgiving and leave it up until January. Many people believe Jan. 6, Epiphany, is the last day you’re supposed to have a tree decorating the place. By then, though, some are so used to seeing it, they decide to leave it right where it is for a while longer. It is not so much fun to take down a tree and its ornaments as it is to put them up in the first place.

Whether you prefer an artificial tree or a live one, is your decision. Some artificial trees look quite lifelike these days. If you prefer a live tree, care must be taken, and lots of vacuuming must be done. But the aroma is divine.

The year my mother died, I did not feel like having a tree. It was all too sad. But, one afternoon when I was out, a friend came by and set up a tree, completely decorated. What a friend! A scintilla of the Christmas Spirit imbued me.

The tree I have now is perfectly divine and suits me completely.

A few years ago, I went to a “festival” of trees, where we placed silent bids on the offerings. As soon as I spied it across the room, I raced for it. It was a silver tree, about three feet tall, wrapped in lovely pink ribbon, festooned with tiny white lights, and featuring various shades of pink balls and stars. A pink and silver tree! Who lusted after it more than I? No one!

I bid every dime I could afford on the conical confection. I kept my eye on it throughout lunch. Just before the auction ended, a woman strolled up and outbid me by twice as much. My heart fell. The tree meant for me would not be mine. How dare she?

I drove home dejected. I decorated with “Christmas stuff,” but no tree. Nothing could top or take the place of the one I’d lost.

Christmas came and went. Along about the middle of March, I got a phone call from the venue where the tree festival was.

“The lady who won the pink tree never picked it up,” the fellow said.

“We want it out of here. You were the next highest bidder. Would you maybe still want it?”

Would I? You bet! I drove down that day and we loaded the tree into my car. Surely, a Christmas tree occupying the back seat of a car in March raised a few eyebrows. I did not care. My tree was on its way home.

Since the overall theme was pink and silver, it lent itself perfectly to my collection of flamingo ornaments. What could be more fitting than flamingos?

But, to be truly tropical, the tree needed a bit of turquoise. As fate would have it, a friend made me a turquoise origami crane. It’s supposed to be good luck. I was lucky to get it. It now serves as the tree-topper.

Every winter afternoon, I turn on the twinkly white lights, and it is absolutely, wonderfully uplifting. It even came with a little hot pink satin tree skirt. I only wish I had a real skirt to match it.

Nowadays, I am one of those people whose tree goes up at Thanksgiving and stays up until Jan. 6. I’m happy for months. And no vacuuming is required.

To order Margo’s book, “A Party of One,” call 540-468-2147 Mon-Wed., 9-5, or email [email protected].