‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

This is my neighbor’s gorgeous, non-traditional Christmas tree. He created it out of salvaged branches from an orange tree in his yard, spray-painted white, so it’s green and non-consumer as well. The beautiful ornaments have been collected over decades, many of them antiques from France, some almost 100 years old. He usually puts up a tall Noble fir tree and decorates it like the tree in the Ingmar Bergman film Fanny and Alexander. When you’re invited over for a tree viewing, he dims the lights and lights the candles. I love the ritual, especially since it’s usually accompanied by a tasting of homemade liqueurs.

This year he wanted to do something different and I think it’s stunning. He used a bird and fruit theme with the ornaments, which I will try to photograph up close before he takes it down. The photo at the top is the clearest and shows the most detail, but since I cut off the top of the tree, I wanted you to see the shape of the whole tableau, so I included the photo below. It’s not as clear, but you can see the top of the tree and all of the lit candles.

Of course this is the same neighbor who loans us his “tree sculpture” every year that I showed you a few days back. How lucky we are to have such a creative and generous neighbor who has become our good friend. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the possibilities you can come up with for a non-traditional Christmas tree, depending on where you live and what you can salvage.
I’ll be spending time with my family and taking a break from blogging for the holiday weekend. I’ll be back next week starting with a Monday CSA post, and then I’ll start answering some questions like whether I’ll continue with the Compact next year, will I keep blogging, and what have I learned from this whole experience. So stay tuned! One thing I can tell you right now is that I’m not about to stop writing this blog.

So whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I wish you all a wonderful weekend.


  1. hiptobeme says

    I love the artistic christmas visions! Have a very happy holiday and look forward to hearing much more from you in the New Year!

  2. Julie says

    That is just gorgeous, thanks so much for sharing the photos.
    P.S. your readers would not allow you to stop blogging even if you wanted to! 😉

  3. Lomagirl says

    I wonder if he knows my sister- she does a traditional Colombian Llanos tree which is a tree branch painted white, or wrapped in cotton and hung with lights.

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