We have a small, fake Christmas tree that I bought a few years ago. It's tall and skinny and sort of funny looking. It doesn't even try to pretend to be a real tree, and I don't try to make it look like one. We used to get real trees, but every year I'd feel so sad and terrible when it came time to take them down and dispose of them like old lettuce from the refrigerator. We try not to waste lettuce, or any food for that matter, which I illustrate at this very moment by eating leftover zughetti reheated with leftover rice for breakfast. When I think about all those Christmas trees that spend years and years growing, only to be cut down, adored briefly, and then unceremoniously scrapped, well it just doesn't seem right to me. I feel disrespectful doing it, so I bought the funny fake tree, and continue to love it year after year.
I wasn't planning on bringing it inside this year, but I had it in the studio with the lights on it. Then when we unexpectedly moved back into the house, I decided, what the heck, might as well bring it into the living room. But then I decided not to drag out all the old sentimental decorations, because I'm feeling sort of fragile and emotional and vulnerable this year. Too many changes, and not enough sleep are making me weird and weepy. I decided that since pretty much everything is different these days, we'd have a different tree too.
When the bright idea of a Bird Tree came to me, and it was instant obsession. I like birds. Always have. I remember my Mom buying fake feathery birds to decorate the patio with in the summertime, and I adored those beyond reason. I like real birds even better, but couldn't think of a way to get them into the living room. So last night, in another hours-long bout of insomnia, I hit the internet in search of some sweet little fake birds.
I looked on Etsy, and although there were a lot of nice handmade felted birds, they weren't really what I wanted. Ebay had a lot of vintage glass birds, but that wasn't what I was after either. I wanted real-looking fake birds to put on my fake-looking fake tree. I had a vision, and would not be persuaded to compromise.
After a while I gave up and tried to get some sleep, then, bleary eyed, got back to googling early this morning. It was beginning to look hopeless until I came across the term "mushroom birds," which were exactly what I wanted. I few Craft Supplies searches later, I found FactoryDirectCraft.com, and landed in birdy heaven. I found little mushroom birds of all types and sizes, as well as feathered birds like the ones Mom used to get. A lot of them come on little clips, but I also ordered a bag of metal hair clips to glue the clipless birds onto, so they can all perch on the tree branches without falling off and becoming dog toys. I caught Heidi-the-wiener-dog nibbling on a branch this morning. Obviously, she cannot be trusted...
Maybe now that my birds are on the way, I can relax and get some actual work done. Or maybe I'll just take a nap. I'll show you the tree when it's all be-birded. I think it will be really pretty, and I know it won't make me cry. Maybe next year I'll feel grounded enough to dig out the old decorations; the ones my kids made, and my Mom gave me that last Christmas of hers, so long ago. For now, I'll stick with the birds. I can trust them to be gentle with me, and I think they'll be really happy in the fake tree. Maybe it's my fuzzy, sleep deprived brain talking, but I'm thinking reality is sort of overrated...
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