Saturday, December 8, 2007

O Christmas Tree!

Every year, L and I have the same argument: he wants a short, small Christmas tree, and I want a gigantic, towering, fat one. As with all our arguments I'm in the right, of course (wink!)- after all, what's the point of having a tree if you're not going to go all out? I know there's the issue of the tree actually fitting through the front door, but in my mind, it's to-hell-with-logic! on this one.

Unfortunately for me, our apartment most decidedly isn't the same as a huge house well-suited to enormous Christmas trees, and I have to help carry the tree up the long flight of switchback stairs leading from our front door/small foyer to the rest of the apartment, so I let a little of L's common sense take over. This year, our compromise was to get a tall (8.5 foot), nicely tapered, relatively slender fir tree. I don't know why we haven't gone this route before (surely it can't be my own stubbornness!)- the best spot for the tree isn't terribly large circumference-wise, but we do have high 1920s ceilings, so this solution is a perfect fit.

We tried something new in the species realm, too, and went for a Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) instead of our usual Balsam or Douglas Fir. The branches feel very strong, and in daylight the needles have a lovely silvery-blue sheen. We were told that the Fraser Fir isn't as fragrant as other firs, but I don't know if I believe it- this tree gives off a gorgeously clean, piney fragrance that wafts all the way to the front door.

When we graduated college and moved in together, we didn't have any Christmas ornaments to speak of, and with the vast array of choices out there, I couldn't decide which new ones I'd be sure to like both now and down the road. Both of our families have boxes of sentimental-value ornaments that have been collected over the years, too, and somehow it seemed so fake to put a whole slew of shiny new decorations, bought solely because we couldn't think of anything else to use, on our tree.

I'm not sure where I got this idea, but in the middle of this internal debate, I decided I'd decorate the tree with origami cranes-both individually strung and in garlands- and perhaps slowly start collecting other ornaments for future use, too. Well, that was four Christmases ago, and I ended up adoring the cranes so much that I haven't given a moment's thought to buying anything else!

I'm not at 1,000 cranes yet, but I'm sure I'll get there soon at this rate- I'm now addicted to the small packages of lovely origami papers we find at a local Japanese housewares shop next door to our favourite- of 11 years, no less- lunch café, where it's always gyudon for me and yakidon (spicy beef bowl) for L. Actually, that reminds me that we haven't been there in a few weeks, and I'm ready to make a few more cranes before our holiday vacation sneaks up on us! What could be better than yummy takeout and a stack of fresh, crisp origami papers?


lesha said...

what a wonderful idea!
your tree looks gorgeous.
I also like very much origami, even though I'm not patient enough to make any cranes or whatever.

I made my Christmas tree last Saturday and I'm very proud of it. it makes the house more cosy and confortable.


la petite gourmande said...

Thanks so much! I'm not patient either, but if you spread out the crane-making over months (and years), it's not so bad. :)

Do you have pictures of your tree? I'd love to see it!

lesha said...

unfortunately I don't have any digital camera (just a manual reflex) but I see what I can do.

I have some japanese paper I bought at MUJI, I'll try to do a crane. that's my personal challenge of today

could you send me (not in attachment) some of your amazing chocolate cookies, please?

have a nice day


la petite gourmande said...

No worries if you can't! I only just succumbed to the allure of a digital camera myself, and I still love my manual one much more.

I'd love to send some chocolate cookies! Though I suspect US customs would assume they were part of some kind of terrorist plot, and they'd be destroyed (or secretly eaten) by customs agents. Stupid people are everywhere, huh?!

Did you make a crane?

lesha said...

I guess security agents at the airport would for sure not resist and eat the cookies. they look so gorgeous!
anyway, stupid people are unfortunately everywhere and sometimes they seem to be the majority of the population, as in Italy at the moment :(

I've made 10 cranes already! It's so relaxing, isn't it?

now, let me read your new recipe. I've got a family birthday lunch(for my partner and my mum)
on Sunday and I'd like to do something special. your blog will be very useful, as usual :)


la petite gourmande said...

I guess they really are everywhere! :(

I'm so glad you find making the cranes relaxing! It's definitely an instant gratification project, though it can be really hard to try new patterns. Some of them are so difficult.

How did the birthday lunch go? Did you make special dishes?

We're having a blizzard and rain here... it switches hourly, so we've spent the day shoveling wet, heavy snow on and off! It's beautiful when it snows, but that's mainly from inside with mugs of mulled wine in hand!