My brother and I grew up on a Christmas tree tradition. We’d buy a fresh tree from the market and spend a day or two hanging garlands and all sorts of trimmings to the tree. On those years we couldn’t afford a real pine tree, our Mom would gather branches from our guava trees, arrange them in a pot and paint them white. Creativity took over when funds were low.
As kids, my brother and I had full autonomy with the tree decor. There were no rules and no themes — just hang whatever you want to hang as long as the branches can carry the weight. I remember putting up the same little items year in and year out: colorful plastic horses, Disney characters, dent and broken toys. And pinecones from Farmer’s Garden. We always hung those mile-long Mardi Gras-type colored beads that would go round and round and up and down the branches. And cotton! We’d tuck pieces of cotton to look like snow.
Too bad we weren’t into taking photos back then. This year, courtesy of Facebook (and some sleek cameras in the hands of would-be pro photographers), we can conveniently share photos of our Christmas tree decorations, despite our vast distances from each other.
By some coincidence, my brother, sisters-in-law, and I, decided to put up our trees before December 1st. We’ve posted our tree photos on Facebook, teasing each other that we have some kind of contest going on. Or a “my tree is better than your tree” showdown. My son called it “Tree Wars”!
Here are our family’s beautiful 2010 Christmas trees in Manila, the Middle East, and North America. (Let’s call it a 4-way tie.)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE! A very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all our family and friends.