Christmas Spangles Shining

Christmas tree posterOne of the things I like most about the Swedes is their attitude about Christmas; from what I have experienced, the typical Swedish Christmas is low-key, with less attention paid to piling presents under the tree, and more to “living small.” The tree is not huge, the presents are affordable, and the emphasis is on lots of food, glögg, and family gathered around the hearth.

The emphasis seems to be on all that which is simple: living within nature rather than overwhelming it, or allowing the over-commercialization of Christmas to dominate the holiday.

So, while in Sweden last year, this homey little Christmas tree (no more than 4-5′ tall, and charmingly, but not lavishly, decorated—look closely and you’ll see the foil-wrapped chocolate Tomte, or Christmas Gnome, hanging from a branch), reminded me of these stanzas from the e. e. cummings’ poem [little tree]:

the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
See the rest of his Christmas poem here.

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