Friday, December 14, 2007


Christmas tree in the main square,
Santiago de Chile, December 2006

Christmas is 'acomin' and the goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, then a ha'penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha'penny, the God bless you!

Yes, it's that time of year again and everything is getting to look mighty festive around here in spite of the rain and gloomy days.
I was looking at this photo and reminiscing how last year in early December, I was visiting my friend Cecilia in Santiago de Chile.
They were putting up this immense Christmas tree in the Square in front of the Cathedral. At first it was just a skeletal frame-work. The men who were in charge of decorating it had to climb up very high on ladders or on the frame to wrap around the garlands and lights. It took them several days to complete it and this was the final results. A very pretty, very tall tree.

The other week I was in downtown Vancouver passing by the Art Gallery and saw a similar sight, although that tree was probably only half the size as the one in Santiago, and the men had a cherry-picker machine to lift them up to put on the decorations. I saw it once it was finished but somehow it didn't look as impressive as the Santiago tree did.

I've celebrated Christmas in Greece where there was a big artificial tree put up in Syntagma Square with lights covering it, but not the greenery that we see in the Santiago tree. My first Christmas in Greece back in 1983 was a bit disappointing, as they don't celebrate the holiday in quite the same way we do. But I made the best of it and bought a little laurel plant at the market which I decorated with tinsel and a few small ornaments and tiny string of lights.

I haven't had a real tree for Christmas for the last couple of years, just a small gold ornamental tree. But this year, because I needed a new big plant, and my cousin is coming for the holidays, I decided to buy a 'real' potted tree, a Norfolk Pine, quite pretty. I'll put some lights and decorations on it and it will take the place of the usual fir or pine tree. Trouble is, it isn't fragrant. So I think I'll buy some fresh boughs from the tree seller to give the room the essence of Christmas. Maybe some mistletoe too, though I don't know who will come to kiss me under it. At any rate, it will be a nice Christmas, as usual. Already my apartment is beginning to look very festive!
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