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    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    Marguerite the christmas tree gypsy


    On a champagne bender, I spent a lot of money I don't really have on this enormous christmas tree. I blame Marguerite, the beautiful tree hawker, who with her long golden plaits, tasseled tuque and red and black checked flannel was like some poster for Quebec used to recruit Europeans in a previous century. I fell for her the moment she straddled the tree and attacked the bottom inch of its trunk with a hacksaw. Didn't trust her, though, or atleast I didn't trust my own alchohol-addled judgement. Tied a knot in the string binding the tree to make sure that it would be the same one that got delivered.

    M. made fun of me when I got home and confessed. He thought I should have held out for one of those cheap trees they sell at IKEA or in the parking lots of grocery chains. But part of the fun for me was the spontaneity. Shouldn't christmas be a little impulsive? And I don't mean in a merely consumerist way, although there is no denying a lot of adspace goes into encouraging something that looks very like sponteneity, but is in fact just buying stuff. The tree was different. I am going to decorate it with all things you eat, popcorn and cranberries and gingerbread mittens. I am even borrowing the lights, so there will be nothing left in a couple of weeks to show but a few pine needles trapped between floorboards. I like that it doesn't last, it makes it more worth having. M. should understand that.

    They delivered the tree last night. I was starting to think they weren't coming. It had been three days, and M. and I joked that they'd packed up in the night, leaving nothing but an empty lot, some embers and pine needles and a wig with long golden plaits discarded in a bush. But the tree arrived. It's up, and it's beautiful. I am so happy something worked. Christmas is maybe the worst time of year for me. If I am going to have any fun, I am going to have to make it myself.