This year I have not put up a Christmas tree. In recent years it seems I only really bask in a tree's atmosphere the night I put it up. Here in Maine, Christmas seems to be over with a bang at the end of Christmas Day. Many people have been dealing with Christmas rush so long that the moment the day is done, their tinsel comes down and the tree is out the door. (Not all folks, but enough that is is hard to feel the spirit in the air of the twelve days of Christmas, as much of the meaning of Christmas is that it is a shared feeling, a shared story, mystery.
Several years ago I decided to make an artificial Christmas tree from scratch. I wanted it to look a bit like those feather trees they used to make around the turn of the last century. I made my tree with coat hangers, green tinsel garland, and lights. About 3 feet high. I decorate it simply with some fancy ribbon and a series of paper angel ornaments I made years ago for another Christmas when I had no tree. These angels now come out every year rather than the huge box of wonderful ornaments that are sitting in the attic somewhere. I just have such a hard time putting things away that I'm not bringing those ornaments out anymore. The angels are simple enough to put up. Except this year. They too now may remain hidden. You can catch a glimpse of some of them here, as well as my homemade tree as it stood last year.