Field of Science


Christmas Tree Nostalgia

Many Christmases ago when the Phactors were newly wed, living in relatively tiny apartments, and had limited resources, we had acquired this candelabra "cactus" which is really Euphorbia lactea, and since it had gotten rather large and could not stay outside during winter, we decorated it for Christmas because there wasn't any room for another tree. Those paired stipular spines at each node were perfect for hanging ornaments and the whole thing was quite festive decked out in holiday garb, and it grew a bit each year so there was more to decorate until it reached some 8-9 feet in height. Hard to know if our daughter was warped or traumatized during her early years by this peculiar take on Christmas decorations, but even before she was born a young neighbor came in, looked at our tree, and said, "That's no Christmas tree!" "Well, if that's not a Christmas tree, then those are not Christmas presents under it." His reappraisal of this logic and the definition of a Christmas tree was swift and pragmatic, and he ran to show his parents the unexpected present. And that just goes to show you it's not about the past or tradition, it's about the present.


sarcozona said...

I've decorated my Euphorbia aphylla the last two years instead of buying a tree. Easy to decorate and pretty festive!

Mrs. Phactor said...

Aww, you have made at least one person misty-eyed.