Friendly Friday: Red & Green

Amanda’s issued the final Friendly Friday Challenge for the year and it’s a seasonal theme: RED & GREEN.

I immediately thought of Christmas trees but I’m handicapped by having never taken pictures of them. Actually, it’s a double handicap as I rarely put up and decorate a Christmas tree myself. Bah, humbug! I know. But ever since the kids have grown up, it doesn’t seem worth the trouble … and then there was that disastrous incident with the cat.

Luckily, not everyone is as bah-humbug as me. I love looking at my neighbors’ trees and my friends do a fine job. I remember the first time I went to my colleague’s home for Christmas. I was a new-ish adult then, coming from an island where the only white Christmas were white sandy ones. I was amazed at a the snowy delights of Christmas in Canada. My friend who had Scandinavian roots, went all out for the season. Real trees, hand made ornaments and white candles which I was shocked to see.

“You actually light those?” I asked.

“Only on Christmas Eve,” she said. Seeing my dismay she added, “We always have a bucket of sand close by. It’s very pretty.”

I took her word for it. Based on pictures, a candle lit tree is very pretty. Fraught with danger and catastrophic disaster but pretty nonetheless.

Image from HuffPost article by Tom Conrad. Nov 23, 2016

Talking about averted disasters, one of this year’s most endearing stories is the one about the Rockefeller Christmas owl. When a 75 foot Norway spruce was cut down in Oneonta, New York and bound for Manhattan, it bundled a little stowaway. The tiny saw-whet owl was discovered by workers unwrapping the tree for NYC’s Rockefeller Center. Although dehydrated and hungry, the little bird was alive and well. Under the care of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, it was rehabilitated and later released into the wilds of northern New York. Such a cute little bird. I think she’s destined for fame in a Hallmark Christmas story. She’s already on postcards, coffee mugs and most recently, the side of a Frontiers airplane.

Picture from Ravensbeard Wildlife Center ; Getty Image. New York Post, November 19, 2020

So there are lots of Christmas trees and stories around to make up for my lack of one at home. But I am not a 100% bah-humbug. I do decorate and put up Christmas lights. I decorate our old stand-up piano with a couple didgeridoos standing in for a tree. And so far, unlike the previous incident with the cat, he’s not been able to knock them down.

Toronto, Canada. December 2020


  1. I love the story about the owl – I’m so glad he was none the worse for his adventure! Have you heard about the koala in an Australian Christmas tree?

    I always put up a tree and decorate, even though it’s often only my husband and I here to enjoy it – I like keeping the traditions alive πŸ™‚ And ideally it is a real one, although it has to be small in our little London home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had heard about the koala! So funny.
      Even though I don’t put them up, I do like real Christmas trees. The lights and smell are really special. Good for you to keep the tradition πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How unusual that to have didgeridoos as stand ins? And you are right about Scandinavians: they do know how to celebrate Christmas. That tree of your friend’s does looks so Danish with the candles. They keep the old trafitions going over there. Whereas, I have to say I wish New York would sbsndon their tradition. The size of the tree that is cut down for NewYork is almost criminal. In that regard, we use artificial trees here for the CBD displays.
    As for me, I haven’t put up a tree for 2 years, but my daughter has been keen again, this year. As our old tree, dating from 1995, was discarded in the house move, we went to buy a smallish one. No such luck. Covid has affected the availability of trees that are all made in China and there was only one to be had in all the stores – a 213cm tree. Now we have a big tree in our media room.
    Merry Christmas, Sandy.


    1. Truth be told, I decorated around the didgeridoos as they were just standing there πŸ™‚ I may have mentioned my husband’s collection before. In every corner & surface there is usually some instrument or gadget of his.

      I admit that my initial reaction to the New York tree is the same. Such a shame to cut down a splendid tree. On the other hand, when the season is over, the tree is milled and donated to Habitat. So it is a natural resource that’s being used for good in an environmentally safe way.

      This isn’t to bash artificial trees. I once read that it was better to have artificial trees than harvest real ones. Something to do the volumes and trade-offs in manufacturing vs farming. The key is not buying & disposing of fake ones every year. .. like, say the bloody red horrors in the US White House 2018 πŸ™‚

      It’s early yet but I hope you have a good Christmas too Amanda.


          1. Goodness me. I am going to be very judgemental here, instead of saying it is a different perspective because it looks to me like something from the red light district and the first lady a cheap dominatrix.

            Liked by 1 person

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