Tannenbaum Thursday, in praise of the spindly ungainly tree

This is to be an unabashedly fluffy post, but this is the season of fluff. Even the New York Times indulged in a vacuous piece on designers “zhoosh-ing” trees for clients. I haven’t a clue as to what zhoosh means, it sounds unwholesome, and the results shown were at best predictable.

I have as my “pile” of Internet ephemera has grown to include  more and more holiday images, been inclined to pine (pun intended) for the ungainly, unstudied trees of the late 19th -early 20th century.

This marvel, replete with patriotic little flags is so much more enchanting then the offerings of this morning’s Home section.

Perhaps we have lost the charm of just “making do” when trimming a tree, a birds nest here, a Chinese puppet above,a hobgoblin tucked there; the mish-mash approach is far more visually satisfying then the self consciously decorated trees I see here in Tinsletown.

Again, I just have always loved little flags tucked into trees, I have trimmed my own trees in this manner for years. I am still surprised at how many folks assume I am some sort of right wing nationalist zealot.

I also believe you can’t have too many homemade garlands, paper, popped corn, berries, or cones, all delight.


Perhaps the great appeal of these wonky little trees is the fantasy that they were selected and culled by the family enjoying them.

A far cry from the mono culture of today’s farms.

A disheartening image .



My own tree I am ashamed to say is an artificial “pencil’ tree ( pre-lit, I know, I know…) from Target, a far cry from my fantasy; but from the street, five stories up, it evokes the spirit I so love.


The following sweet image of rugged men around their own little “feather” tree really tickles me. I love the little paper garlands we all were forced to make in grade school.

More flags!

A Facebook friend posted this clip from 1898, it really is too wonderful not to share.

Children may love the sparkle of Christmas morn, but they aren’t alone…

Concerning Christmas Trees some options are just not Kosher…

Purple Pencil Trees &…

bling bedazzled, knee-sock wearing Santas &

Perhaps the most poignant image of Christmas is the few days after, my heart has always broken seeing forlorn holiday trees abandoned to the trash heap. My sympathy may stem from my childhood reading of Hans Christian Andersen’s heart-wrenching fairy tale The Fir Tree read it here and weep. When I do have a live tree, I always remember to leave a few ornaments on the tree when I place it on the curb. A fond memento for a happy time.

As tomorrow is the traditional day for the ancient Roman festival honoring the god Saturn, I wish you all a most Joyous Saturnalia!

Respectfully submitted,

Babylon Baroque

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6 Responses to “Tannenbaum Thursday, in praise of the spindly ungainly tree”

  1. Lovely! Our tree, when I was a small child, was a bare Eucalyptus branch painted white, then decorated…firs were a bit hard to come by in tropical Far North Queensland

  2. I’m wanting to cobble together something like that for my own space. Living in LA, as in Australia, fir trees are not native, I justify false trees with that logic.
    I might run to the flower market for a branch, which is a bit pitiful but I live in an industrial area., real branches a bit hard to come by.
    Take care,Merry holidays!
    LG

  3. Great post! I love the second tree especially….absolutely glorious…

  4. It is a stunner, yuletide greetings to you and your kin!

  5. Great photos! Fascinating, historical and fun…

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