Monday, December 13, 2010

My World Tuesday: Christmas trees

This year, there are only three of us at home. I decided on a small tree of a meter tall. I did not buy a tree. Instead, I went to the garden and trimmed branches off my pine trees, bundled them together. That is why you see a crooked tree. This is a silver theme, as I think of the first white Christmas I had in Canada in 1975. There are four items which are my childrens, a disco ball, a school bear, a puppy and a green reindeer.

I posted this during the Christmas of 2008.

We have four very big ten feet tall pine trees growing in the front garden along the foot path. We don't have any fence and people walk pass every day as it is a very busy road.

My nineteen year old Gwent and bought some big, red, blue, green and silver glittery tinsels and decorated the trees.

From my precious old box of decorations, I took out some old glass baubles and chained them up. Then I looped some silver beads round the trees. I told G that I wasn't going to put the nice disco ball that my older daughter D liked very much, in case people walk pass and steal it.

G remarked, "If anyone steals our decoration, I will lose faith in humanity."

The boss came home, and asked, "Who decorated the trees?"

I replied, "Who else?'

He cheekily joked, "I thought, may be the council had done it."

This reminds me of Singapore on National day, the council comes and hang up the National flag if your apartment block faces a main road or the train line.

Christmas tree decorating is a very special time for me. I keep certain decorative items that are sentimental to me. One of them is a brown puppy. I bought it the day after Andrew was born when I was told he was going to die. I bought it with a heavy heart. Andrew would never get to play with it. It's been eighteen years, and at every Christmas, when I hang the little puppy on the tree, I remember him.

I reminisced when I was young in Primary school, our whole family would decorate the tree. At that time, not many Asian people had a tree. I lament that the boss in the house wasn't keen in a Christmas tree.

G said, "You guys were Roman Catholics, that is why you had a tree."

One year, the wind blew the tree down, and broke all the baubles. Father said he wasn’t going to buy anymore baubles. We were very sad and tried to recycle some of the not so broken ones.

Another year, Mother brought into the house an unusual pine tree from the garden. There was a bird's nest with an egg. Father told her to take the plant back downstairs to the garden. Mother refused but in her own ingenious way, removed the nest and used a string and tied the nest to another plant in the garden. I don't remember if the mother bird came back to the relocated nest. May be I repressed that memory. Visitors came and admired our tree. Mother was very happy. We didn't know she planted the tree as a Christmas tree.

I was the Secretary of the gardening club in the Singapore University where the boss was teaching. Before I came back to New Zealand I was selling my plants to raise funds for the Deaf children in Kenya. An American Born Chinese neighbor, Alan gave me a whole lot of plants to sell. He gave me a small version of Mother's tree. If I wasn't leaving the country, I would have kept it because it rekindled my memories of Christmases of bygone years. The tree was snapped up quickly.

You may find it strange that Down Under, we have a Summer Christmas. It doesn't feel the same as in the Northern hemisphere when we have barbecues at the beach.

On Thursday, we had our school's Christmas dinner and dance. Before we left, we had a stroll on the beach.

One day, a woman came and knocked on my front door. She said she lived in the neighbourhood and had appreciated my trees. She felt she had to come and say "Thank You."

It is three days to Christmas. I just came back with my son from caroling. We went to three rest homes, and the residents were so appreciative of our group ranging from five to eighty years.

I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad.
Prospero Ano y Felicidad.

*** This is a wonderful bit of recollection and I thank you for sharing. It is so easy to forget how many people don't share our tree-trimming custom. But with every one of your posts, I learn something new about the customs of people elsewhere. Thank you for the education! Q ***


wenn said...

wow..yr very own mas tree!

Unknown said...

That tree is great...even senget also very pretty. I have a huge pine tree outside...but we Christmas at mom's place so the tree was saved :P

Elaine Yim said...

You have so many memories associated with Christmas trees. A child's memory will be everlasting and forever freen in the mother's heart. I'd really like to have a Christmas tree at home too. I used to grow a real one in my old house until the white ants destroyed it.

Ensurai said...


Thanks for sharing lovely your thoughts.
I am too having lots of thoughts about putting my plastic 6 feet tall tree up with the usual decorations. Every year I would change the colour theme.
This year my kids are only coming back on the there would no sharing of decoration etc like before. It is kind of sad for I know this is the beginning of a new era...I would expect any three of them and also my youngest to say "Mum is it alright not to be home for Christmas?" My "American" daughter has left the nest for 10 years to work in the US (visiting only once in two or three years) and it is still painful.
Time to write my short stories!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Hooked on Memes said...

This is such a touching and beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. I don't make my own tree but cut some pieces of cedar to make my own wreath. Merry Christmas!