Tuesday, December 22, 2009

this time, next year.

I am really missing Paris and London lately. Yesterday my husband said, "I wish we were in our little flat" - referencing a flat he rented 3 years ago with a view of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.

This photo hangs near our bed so that we see it every day:

I understand it's snowing in Paris this year, but yesterday, three years back, my husband and I got engaged near the Seine river. It was very, very cold and clear and absolutely magical. He proposed on the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, and we shared a bottle of champagne at a restaurant, funnily enough, called the Equinox.

On that trip, among the Christmas decorations we saw, were these flocked Christmas trees sold on street corners:

As far as I know, these trees were real. There is nothing like a real tree and the smell of pine or fir, which is one reason, I suppose, we've never bought an artificial tree. However, this year we were concerned about being "green" and attempted to buy a live, potted tree. We ran into several hiccups: (1) Local stores had limited quantities and tended to quickly sell out and/or despite all my work at the gym, I couldn't carry the tree without help (dirt is heavy); (2) We would need to find somewhere to donate the tree (I was told school districts were a good place to start); (3) Many of the trees were Juniper, which my husband is allergic to.

So. In the end, my husband went out to find a potted tree that he could carry on his own and came home with a cut tree - a lovely 6-foot Noble Fir. Christmas trees can be recycled and mulched into fertilizer, after all.

However, were I to go artificial next year (and I'm speaking for myself because I'm pretty sure my husband would draw the line at a "cashmere pink" tree), I might be inclined to go all the way, in the spirit of the Parisians, with one of these tinsel trees (sold at Target):

Or, to be really crazy, how about a tinsel palm tree?

Or, and I think my favorite, are these aluminum, vintage trees, which can be found on ebay.

I've seen some more modern versions in people's windows that are just frames strung with lights. A bit austere, but pretty at night.

And, I have to say, I missed out on the Bay Leaf wreath this year, but... not next year. This one is from Williams-Sonoma: