our eco-friendly & australian, but not yet decorated Christmas tree
click image to see larger
click image to see larger
As I've said before in an earlier post - the problem with being Australian is that the seasons are all wrong. Or rather, the problem with being Australian we're all wrong for the seasons.
This is never more obvious than when you find yourself slaving over a hot stove producing roasted turkey and root vegetables on a swelteringly hot 25th of December, and then follow it with steamed christmas pudding and brandy sauce (except maybe when you find yourself wearing a fake beard and a bikini).
How about the way we ignore all the beautiful asparagus, salad greens, strawberries and summer fruits in season in favour of nutmeg, oranges, sultana's and nuts. Or decorate our houses in tinsel and sparkly lights, which just end up looking kind of bedraggled and sweaty in the heat.
And then there's the problem of the Christmas tree. There's really not anything much more incongruous than a Germanic pine tree covered in sparkly lights in the middle of Australian summer. I always think they look a little sad. And worse they make me feel like I'm having a pretend, lets-make-do-since-we're-here-and-not-there Christmas. And that's not how I feel at all.
I love Australian Christmas, and I love the traditions we have which suit our climate and culture. I love the family game of cricket after lunch out in the back yard, or outside on the street. I love the massive bowls of cherries, and the pavlova, and I especially love the prawns. I just think we have to do a better job of translating the other Christmas traditions so that they move beyond threadbare nostalgia to something that celebrates who we are, where we are, and our connection with our environment.
So this is my attempt to have an eco-friendly Australian Christmas tree. I thought about getting a Wollemi Pine, which is a pretty elegant solution. It not only looks like a traditional Christmas tree - but by planting it you're helping to conserve a native endangered species, you can feel even better about yourself by buying one from here and donating funds to cancer research.
But I didn't go that way because, well, lets face it, you've got to be satisfied with a pretty small tree until it has a chance to grow a little.
So this was my solution - it's on the wall because floor space is a bit of a premium at my place. We collected some eucalyptus branches from a road side reserve (so I figure the council would have cleared them out anyway, and I wasn't impacting on the the habitat value of fallen wood too much). And I sprayed them with a little silver paint. I figure this is a more sustainable option than a plastic or farmed tree (even with the silver paint).
I haven't decorated it yet - I'd like to do that closer to Christmas Eve and then leave the tree up for the 12 days of Christmas until January 6th.
Will post photos of the tree later when it's dressed.
Labels: philosophies + opinions