Saturday, November 28, 2009
The only place I could have squeezed a Christmas Tree in my apartment(s) in NYC was the tub. And although it may have been the perfect solution for never forgetting to water it, I didn't really want the hassle of moving a tree every time I took a bath. And I certainly didn't have underbed storage for tinsel, balls and lights. So I spent twelve years not stepping on pine needles in my winter woolen socks.
Then I moved to Brazil where I've spent the last five years wearing flip flops at Christmas time and writing July on my checks in December. It doesn't feel like Christmas. The mall Santa's underarms have red balls of sweaty wool and I certainly wouldn't want to be his dry cleaner. The Northern Hemisphere idea of winter wonderland a la North Pole has been imported in its entirety to Brazil. And now that we have a roomier apartment we could have gotten the tree. But it just never felt quite right to me.
But along came Georgia. And I felt like I was shortchanging my kid. So when G and I were walking down the street and I saw the tree, I called Felipe and proposed we spend more money on the credit card. And now my family has the perfect tropical tree. It is light and airy. The balls are made from a typical Brazilian tropical floral cotton called Chita which was brought from India to Brazil some 200 years ago. In the 60's, the fabric was a symbol of the avant-garde art movement called tropicalismo.
So the tree is up. We now have a version of the symbol that represents the holiday season. And it represents our alternative (sorry Georgia) family. Plus we aren't stepping on pine needles. I think Georgia likes it (She is dying to pull at the balls.) And of course I know that Grandma and Grandpa (on both sides) will have a pine tree.
I'm still a bit worried about the stocking part. Maybe next year...