Christmas brings with it many curious cultural traditions. Perhaps the most odd, is the somewhat barbaric practice of decapitating a juvenile tree, and then dragging the carcass home where it is decorated with crass ornaments, only to later be carelessly discarded onto the street curb in the new year.
Some people, possibly put off by the concept of a rotting tree carcass in their living room, instead opt for a plastic tree.
Neither practice appeals to me.
Although we have opted out of Christmas for some years now, and instead celebrate the summer solstice, we still maintain a hint of some of the Christmas traditions, and that includes a decorated tree.
This year’s tree was a dwarf apple, adorned with some kiwis made from possum fur, and some (albeit crass) old Christmas tree decorations (but these are slowly being attritioned with each year).
The day after solstice the next ritual begins, and the decorations are gently removed. Instead of being abandoned on the street curb, or stuffed into a garage cupboard, our tree is now transplanted into the back yard, where all going well it will grow through many more summer solstices, and stand tall for some generations (although that largely depends on council regulations du jour.).
Happy solstice and summer holidays.