The Zero Dollar Christmas Tree (or, how to make your own)

Gadora has before mentioned the almost bah humbug-like attitude I possess when it comes to decorating for the holidays. It stems from the ruthless way stores shove glittery Christmas crap at us earlier and earlier every year. Hey, before you get started… I’m all for the Holidays. I like my family. And I’m down with the Chocolate Vegan Chili recipes, and consuming way too much dessert. I simply identify more closely with Charlie Brown’s philosophy: “I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas!”

My first Christmas in New York I lived not far from The Met on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was a small studio, fit me just right, but there was no room for a tree. Armed with winter gloves and gall, I strolled over to Central Park and clandestinely plucked out a few fallen branches. Dragged them the few blocks home and up to my roof where I deleafed them, sprayed and adorned them. “I’ll take this little tree home and decorate it! And I’ll show ’em.”

Charlie Brown Christmas…

By December 15th of this year we’d not done one thing to prepare for the holidays. No light strung, no sweets made, no nothing really. We’d planned our second annual Festivus for the Rest of Us party—where decorations (and tinsel) are abhorred—but I  knew the BFF was secretly hankering to bust out the Christmas boxes. “How about I make us a tree for the party,” I pose. She squealed. Gadora intended to repurpose the branches I’d witnessed her saw off a tree a few days earlier, saving them the fate of the trash can. It would be our Zero Dollar Christmas Tree… no tree felled, we’d craft the ornaments ourselves and enjoy an evening with the girls while pulling it all together.

Our tree.

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