The first holidays in our new space are turning out just fine. There is a Christmas tree in the building lobby–a huge one, bright and colorful. Next to is is a Chanukah menorah, and it has been adding a light every night. It makes me feel welcome in my new home. Included.
Our holiday tradition was to turn a ficus tree into our Christmas tree. We’ve done it for 23 years. This year, we added something new.
When we bought our new place, one of the living room walls was covered with a huge mirror–20 feet wide and nine feet tall.
There were two sconces coming out of the wall, each an elaborate display of lead crystal– a sort of horizontal chandelier. They were not to my taste. The mirror and the sconces came down. Before we tossed the sconces, I cut off the lead crystals, knowing a new idea would turn up. It did.
We used the old to celebrate the new. The lead crystal was caked with dust and grime, so I soaked them in warm soapy water and scrubbed them clean. After they dried, I strung the individual large crystals on wire and created ornaments for the tree. Small crystals got grouped into drops. (Earrings, which I briefly considered, would have been way too heavy.) Ficus leaves are large enough to hide a lot of ornaments, so we hung all of them in the 6-foot tree.
The tiny lights reflect in the crystals, giving the tree a new and special look for our first Christmas in our new-to-us home. There is something about this house that is welcoming and loving. Part of it is the tree, but part of
it is the feeling of having found the right space at the right time.
Now all that’s left is to clean up the studio, and start thinking about the word of the year. Yes, it’s that time again. And there will be a give-away to help you choose the word of the year.
But not tonight. Tonight, I’m enjoying the tree with crystals against the backdrop of city lights.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach.