Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reclaiming Christmas

I spent last night redecorating for Christmas. (Then, for good measure, I cleaned the kitchen.)

Now my apartment feels right.

I think part of my repulsion to the ugly plastic fake Christmas tree came from its so-close proximity to my learning about the Black Friday Wal-Mart mob; I had literally come home with this tree-in-a-box, sat down to see if anything on the internet had changed in the last two hours, and learned that in another store in another city, a man had been trampled to death.

I kinda felt complicit. Sure, literally I wasn't, but I had also been in a big-box store on Black Friday and it was just a different combination of factors that made it not my store but that other store.

So I took back the ugly plastic tree, and despaired that I didn't know how to get my apartment ready for Christmas.

Then, on a work-related errand (I was returning catering trays to Whole Foods -- did you know they'll re-use them if you bring them back?) I saw an entire window display of rosemary trees. I didn't know such a thing existed. I guess I hadn't thought about the shape rosemary takes when it isn't inside a spice jar, but apparently it is Christmas-tree shaped, and just the right size for my little apartment.

I went nuts. This was perfect. The rosemary tree would live, in its pot, through the holiday season, and then I could strip it of its "needles" and put them in a generic tupperware and use them in my cooking. And, since I hadn't yet ever cooked anything which required rosemary, I would get to look up and learn some new recipes.

It was two days before I could get back to the Whole Foods. This worried me a little, because I was afraid all of the pretty rosemary trees would be gone, but I told myself it was an unreasonable fear. This is America, after all. Store windows are always full of products. Nothing ever disappears. The closest I had ever come to not finding what I wanted in a store was when I price-watched this green corduroy dress from ATL until it was 50% off, and then I went in to buy it with another 50% off coupon, but by then all of the ones in my size were gone, so I bought one in the next size up and ran it through the washer/dryer so it would shrink to fit.

When I went back to Whole Foods, all the pretty rosemary trees were gone. The man working Lawn and Garden told me it was blight; there wouldn't be any more rosemary tree harvests this season, and there wouldn't be any more rosemary trees anywhere in the tri-state area.

I was crushed. But I rallied and ended up walking out of the Whole Foods with four living plants: one miniature Christmas tree in a pot, two little cypress bushes, and one golden poinsettia.

Now my apartment is full of pretty green things, and I've hung up the lights and this afternoon I am going to put up some stockings and buy some tealights for the windows and get a whole bunch of peppermint and butterscotch candy canes to put into a glass jar that used to contain Priya-brand garlic paste.

I feel like I've reclaimed Christmas.

This, I know, is silly, because buying live plants at Whole Foods is only moderately different from buying a plastic plant at Target; and even my delight in my pretty golden poinsettia (instead of those everyday red poinsettias) should not be attributed to any sense of finding anything special; the only reason there was only one golden poinsettia hiding in the back behind all the red ones was because everyone else had already bought all of the golden ones and there was only one left.

Still, it's so much nicer in my apartment. And Blue is back in the Christmas spirit. ^__^

No comments: