Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The tree comes down

After a long goodbye last night - Caroline and I sang good-night and farewell songs, unhooked ornaments, nibbled on wintergreen candy canes*, and packed everything away - we took the tree down. We were two days early by the Czech Christmas calendar, but the tree was losing its green fast. It had already shed so much that I didn’t even try to vacuum up the three inches of needles that had accumulated under it, but instead swept. And swept. Until there was only a scant carpeting of needle left which the vacuum cleaner swallowed with ease, for all the world as if this was just a case of light housework, nearly solved.

Because I am the sentimental sort, we told Caroline the tree had disappeared back to the forest until next year, and I kept her entertained in her room while Will frog marched the remains out the door. He was thickly padded with many layers of clothes, coat and gloves, but still wound up looking like he had been attacked by a forest green porcupine. I’ve already made a note for next year - I’ll follow our babysitter’s advice and buy borovice (pine) not jedle (spruce). A pine isn’t as classically Christmas as a spruce, but at least it holds onto its needles.

*Very kindly imported by my sister.

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Karla said...

Did you have the tree in water? I didn't see any Czech tree stands that hold water, but that's how we keep them (relatively) fresh at home. Of course, they still shed a certain amount.

I like the idea of the tree going back to the forest till next year.

Julia said...

We did have it in water, but that didn't seem to help. I think it had already closed its pores by the time we picked it up, so it couldn't drink anything even when we chipped off some bark to give it a fresh start. It was a beauty though, so I don't begrudge the needles.

Anonymous said...

Next year, cut at least an inch off the base before you put the tree in water. I was lucky, I went to a Christmas tree farm (in Olar) and the owner cut the one that I selected. It was only a 40 minute drive home. I bought mine on the 19th and it is still beautiful. I am dreaming up excuses not to take it down.

When you were a child, we had a live tree which we used for about 6 or 7 years. It stayed in its redwood container until it popped the bands that held the pot together. Would your balcony hold a tree in a pot? You would have to be careful about keeping it watered....

The first year that we had a cut tree, you and E refused to have the tree put out in the trash, so it went to the back of the yard (orchard) and I snuck it out to the trash the following summer. I like the idea of the tree going back to the forest.