Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

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“This One”, ACEO, 2.5”x3.5” bristol, Inktense watersoluble pencil, permanent ink.

Here we are, re-enacting some fairly ancient stuff.  How quaint, man, wife and dog out to cut a Christmas Tree—very Currier and Ives. Victorian, etc.. But while reading my latest tomes on mythology I stumbled up the following description.

In Phrygia, for example, in honor of the crucified and resurrected saviour Attis, a pine tree was cut on the twenty-second of March, and brought into the sanctuary of the mother-goddess, Cybele.  There it was swathed like a corpse with woolen bands and decked with wreathes of violets…from Joseph Campbell’s, Hero of a Thousand Faces.

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Now, hmmm…doesn’t all that sound familiar, albeit in a less sanitized way?  All that imagery, of birth, sacrifice and rebirth.  Even the colours red and green have had symbolic importance for an awfully long time, although we may have forgotten. Green being the life blood of plant world and red the life blood of our own.

When I was a child, one of my favourite traditions was the Advent Calendar.  Of course it had sparkles and the baby Jesus in the middle, with the heavenly Mary and Joseph hovering about the crib.  But this so biblical scene was invariably set in the heart of the winter forest, with blazing stars above and frost laden trees surrounding, with worshipful wild animals, wolves and foxes, deer and rabbits, creeping closer to see the symbol of the return of light and the hope of spring.

I will leave you with that, to contemplate your traditions, their origins and the meaning they hold in your heart.

And of course, once you are done celebrating, I would love to hear about your traditions, what they are, and how they hold you.

A very Merry Christmas! Or whatever festive greeting you wish to insert here.

PS. Some of you may know, that I am very frugal, and normally buy my trees last minute and on sale for less the $20.  This year, no such thing happened.  Given a choice between a $60 stale pre-cut tree, and fetching my own (more fun) for $45, we spent the money.  What a pleasure.  It was a fine sunny day at the tree farm (Magic Hill) just down the road from us, and it felt like being in a picture postcard with the dog cavorting beside us.  Of course, I left the camera at home…

6 comments:

Living In Aurora Blogger said...

This is very nice....

Stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Lots of love, joy, happiness and good health. Anna :)

Jennifer Rose said...

merry xmas :D i don't actually have any traditions. xmas was never really a big thing for us growing up, and now xmas to me is almost just another day. I do enjoy seeing all the lights on the houses and trees but with people low on money, there were not so many to see this year

Chrissy said...

I love the scene, very nicely captured :D...Hey you can't get it cheaply all the time..I seem to have loads of traditions ~ and goodness knows where I got them from. My family are much like Jen, they don't do Christmas *deep sigh*.
I hope I never lose the magic..I hope I will always have happy lights and candles...
Hope you had a great time :D

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Anna, really appreciated. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back, just busy (in a fun way).
Thanks Jennifer, I guess the trees are even pricier in Scotland? Some day, I'll need to learn to do without, but not this year. Enjoy your chocolate and free time.
Chrissy, thanks. For the experience of picking our own, almost worth the price, especially now that I know what a ginormously long pedigree this tradition has.
Light those candles and think long thoughts.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Sounds like the best ever way to get a tree! You captured it so well!

Those themes recur in so many mythologies. Think of how far the Roman Empire expanded to get an idea of how many might have been absorbed.

Hope you are enjoying the holidays...

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