The following is a reprint of a previously published post. If you celebrate Christmas but haven’t gotten a tree yet, I encourage you to get creative with what can be used instead of the traditional pine tree. I’ve seen some lovely decorated ficus plants, and if you live in the desert, cactus is a festive vehicle for lights and ornaments. You might have just the thing already, in your home or yard. The possibilities are endless. 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.