O Christmas Tree

Posted on December 22, 2010

We have a Christmas tree in the Fibro. Your basic pine tree, of the species Plasticus Fantasticus. It lies dormant in a box under the bed, awaiting it’s annual chance to (literally) shine.

This year, we also have a Christmas tree outside the Fibro. More a bush, really. A dead bush to be precise. It used to be a magnificent Portwine Magnolia shrub. Then the July rains came and it drowned, dropping branches and leaves from the base up in a desperate attempt at life.

Despite our best efforts, it could not be resuscitated. But neither have we worked out what to do with it, or the space it would leave behind if we remove it. So it remains. Twiggy. Lifeless. Starkly beautiful in its own special way, as the spiders weave their magic and decorate the sticks with webs, which glisten in the sunlight and in the rain. Leaves are redundant, really.

These days, however, it stands a little taller, decked out in holiday finery of baubles and glass balls. It is surprising how much pleasure I get out of looking at it. The boys whizz past it on their scooters, barely allowing it a glance. I can see it from my study window, watching the different play of light on the sparkly baubles as the sun progresses overhead.

I wonder if it will still be there next year. Perhaps it will spontaneously burst back into life, new growth speckling its bare limbs. Now that would be a Christmas miracle.

Do you have a real tree or a plastic specimen? Any baubles bedecking your backyard? Or perhaps you prefer a light display?


  1. Thea

    Your words are magic!
    And now I have the image of you trying to resuscitate a bush stuck in my head…thanks for that! 😉

  2. fairchildstreet

    Plastic tree for this family. A wreath on the front door and this is all. Every Christmas we say we should do more outside but the we go on hols and forget about it till next Christmas. Charmaine

  3. the rhythm method

    We have a plastic tree. Mr Karen already owned it when I met him – for me, a bachelor with his own 6ft tree (even a plastic one) was both ridiculous and adorable. It sealed the deal.
    I love that you decorated the almost-dead magnolia. Don’t give up hope – it may come back next spring, who knows in this climate?

  4. sim at Kookaburra Laugh

    After many years living in London with the Christmas tree shop set up annually at the end of our road, we decided to come up with our own Aussie version knowing the trees here just wouldn’t cut it. We went out into the local bush and found some large beautifully shaped branches. We painted them white and propped them in a large basket surrounded by pine cones. The gorgeous white branches have been lovingly adorned with all our treasured bits n bobs collected over the years. We love it.

  5. Anonymous

    We also have a lovely plastic tree. A friend of mine has done a post-modern take on the whole thing and has baubles in one of those large dome-shaped old birdcages and has twined fairy lights around it (it looks amazing). Hope you survived the pre-chrissy shopping madness this morning!

  6. Cate

    Plastic fantastic for us!! I couldn’t stand all those sticky dropped needles – although I do looove the smell (but in other people’s houses 🙂

  7. Penny

    We have the Plasticus Fantasticus species too. But it’s my favourite thing to look at at the moment because it’s out very first Christmas tree as a family (long story). Represents a new season and celebration to me

  8. Stacia

    Our tree is plastic. Prelit. Glorious. My parents always take the kiddos to cut a real tree, so they do get a sniff of real pine each year. And I don’t have to vacuum up dead needles. That’s definitely a Christmas miracle!

  9. Joni Llanora

    Sad about twiggy but it still look lovely and Christmas-y. I was so lazy to shop for a great tree so I got one for ebay for $10. the seller gave me his old decors as well. Talk about being green this holiday.

  10. Maxabella

    PS – Even with a fakey fake your house can still have that ‘pine with a hint of compost’ Christmas smell. After the Scouts held their annual Christmas Tree sell-off in the local park, we popped around that evening and picked up a whole bucket of pine sprigs. Into vases they went and tah dah, the Christmas smell is everywhere! x

  11. Maxabella

    We have a fakey, I love it. I can’t stand to have a tree dying slowly in the front room bedecked in sparkly funeral outfit.

    I think it has always been my destiny to be one those crazy Christmas Lights people and this year we began. A string of LED multi-colours along the verandah rail. It has begun. x

  12. Little Ted Canvas

    I’ve managed to put lights up outside for the first time, they look so lovely at night, though the boys are always in bed before they shine..I love your outside tree it’s beautiful, and so nice to be able to admire it as you work. Have a lovely christmas!

  13. Langdowns

    We never had access to real Christmas trees as I was growing up so I am used to Plasticus Fantasticus. And oh what a fantasticus plasticus he is! I call him Luc Longly because that’s how tall he is. And so many of the baubles have special meaning. Yay! Nothing outside though, oh, except Christmas lights strung all across the front of the house. We’re not home to enjoy it all right now though. We’re stalking you and are spending Christmas on the south coast. Cheers! 🙂

  14. MaidInAustralia

    We have a fake tree. I had a real tree a few times when living in England, but man, those things shed. I’m content with our tree, but pop across to http://www.maidinaustralia.com and see our neighbourhood tree! Merry Christmas. xo

  15. Kristy

    I love having a real tree in the house and the smell of it!

  16. Marion Williams-Bennett

    This was the first year we considered going with a Plasticus Fantasticus, but alas, finally settled on the read thing. The pine needles are everywhere, it’s all ready dying a slow death. But it still smells like Christmas.

    Love your little shrub in all of it’s glory!

  17. Life as the mother of 4

    fake, I pull it out of the attic the day after Thanksgiving and put it away the day after Christmas. I’d put it away on Christmas if I could get away with it. One year I’d like someone else to put the lights on it however!

  18. Victoria

    Love it – Plasticus Fantasticus!! Trees decorated outdoors always look so great and make the whole neighbourhood feel Christmassy! We have real trees – small one covered in everything you can imagine for the kiddos to enjoy and a big one decorated in silver and glass for Huzz and my sanity !!! Too many needles are dropping off already though as I have placed the big one too near the radiator!! Looks like it might be pretty bare soon! Oh well. Merry Christmas.

  19. mamabook

    Species plasticfantasticus too. Last yr we popped some baubles on our front yard tree. This year not managed much at all. Live tree always when growing up.

  20. Lady Estrogen

    Our fake tree is somewhere in storage all decorated and everything, so it’s ready to go every year – except this one – I don’t think it’s going to be dug out in time. O well – the boys can see the tree at grandma&grandpa’s this year. They’re not quite 2 yet, so no dramas. lol.

  21. Naturally Carol

    This year our Plasticus is not so Fantasticus…but…my daughter is going to Canada to live and left us her Plasticus Blanc Opticalfibrical Fantasticus…a new species for us…very white and sparkly with sophisticated black ornaments! The old one is also being revived this year with the addition of some green and red outdoor lights which hide any deformities! Cheers!!

  22. Blocks and Knocks

    Your tree sounds so pretty! Dead branches and all. We have plastic, and even that’s a stretch for me. It’s only up so people don’t continually ask ‘so when are you putting your tree up?’. The kids love it anyway. Have a lovely Xmas.

  23. Kymmie

    Loving your special name for your tree. I’ll have to check it’s label, but I suspec mine is the same variety 😉 I went past a house the other day and it was stunning. A tree on their front yard with white and glass baubles on it. It took my breath away. So, I have very positive images on your outside Christmas tree. Three more sleeps. And I’m finally in the Christmas mood! xx

  24. Kelly

    We have a plastic tree, I have always wanted a real tree but we have never got around to getting one. I am posting pictures of it now â˜ŧ

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