Wednesday, December 07, 2005

things you just can't live without

Every day I get a nice little email from the Globe and Mail "Style Counsel" and believe me, I need counselling in this area. Today's offering, at $359, is a lite book (one that offers illumination).

The manufacturers claim it "is a small, portable device that uses bright light therapy to raise serotonin levels and combat the decreased levels of sunlight that affects those with S.A.D. The makers claim it treats symptoms such as weight gain, sadness, social withdrawal, fatigue and the mild depression some women suffer (called the "body blues"). It may also be of use to shift workers and students."

I never realized I suffer from the body blues. I thought it was menopause.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

trees for witness?

The other part of that Dec 1 story in the Star about Christmas trees was the trouble and expense some go to for exterior lights.

As it says, "There are plenty of contractors who will do the labour, saving a homeowner from climbing up a ladder in the cold, but a growing number of companies will sell the whole decoration package, such as Illuminations ( Owner Mitch Levine, working with a small crew, provides a lifetime guarantee on the products he sells, for as long as he continues to put up and take down the decorations. His clientele averages $800 for a first-year installation, which includes lights, extension cords, timers and the take down, but he also has clients who spend $3,000 and more."

Apparently, these guys operate lawn care companies in the summer, but the Christmas stuff keeps them going through the long hard cold winter.

Domestic Deconstruction

I wish I had the picture that accompanied this Toronto Star article last Thursday (Dec 1). Here's the headline:
Flipping Christmas
You can turn your tree on its head or cut it in half and bolt it to the wall

The picture showed an upside down Christmas tree. At first I thought how ugly is that? Then on careful consideration, I realized it had merit for practical reasons. In a house as small as ours, with most of the furniture items at ground level, this could actually raise the tree above all the domestic detritus, thereby making its full lower branches visible for all.

There's also less mischief that a dog, cat or small stubby fingers can get into with ornaments gracing the (now) upper branches. And the design and decor options are endless: the broad expanse of branches at the top mean that many more stars.

Apparently, you can also nail the tree -- split in half down the trunk first -- to the wall. Or you can dangle it from the ceiling -- dangerous in our house with its uncertain structural strength.

Then there's the merchandise angle -- according to the article, this upside down tree also leaves a much larger floor expanse to stack all those presents. This could be a bit of a problem at our house, since we're putting on a bit of the old Scrooge when it comes to toys and things.

But, was this also the latest in a wave of deconstructionism sweeping interior decor?

No, because what the new Christmas tree afficionados don't realize is that this upside down Christmas tree thing is NOT new! A Christianity Today article reports that: Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God's Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.