Saturday, December 22, 2007

A beanstalk for Christmas


My little family of three has had a funny relationship with "the Christmas Tree" for the last several years. The first year we were together, Jeremy really did not want to buy a cut tree for the fabled holiday. I, however, really did. I couldn't get him to budge, so in protest I went out and bought the most terrible (yet somewhat appealing) fake white Christmas tree. The following year, we moved to Massachusetts. And, still wanting to have a real pine smelling Christmas Tree, I decided on a potted indoor northern spruce. It was quite cute. Perhaps a little Charlie Brown-ish, but really a very nice spry tree. Unlike my mother though, I do not have a green thumb and I managed to kill the terribly cute tree. I think a bit traumatized by all this, Parker suggested that this year we make a tree. I was so caught off guard by her suggestion and could hardly believe that my child of 10 years old, who I had been trying to convince of the value of making (and ever resistant) would suggest a felt tree. I said, "that sounds great!"

We only last night had the opportunity to try and make this tree (I'm late with everything...it drives me nuts). While we were sketching out what we wanted it to look like, and brainstorming construction plans, Jeremy suggested the beanstalk!

My thesis exhibition (2 years ago) was all about myth-making and fairy tales and how they play out in our social cultures. It was a very personal investigation into my own family and upbringing. Parker made drawings of my family members and I made them into 41 stuffed little creatures. When installed, they were all gravitating towards a giant handmade 80 foot beanstalk that buttons all the way up. The exhibition was a success, but I was left with a few unresolved feelings about it all...until last night. Jeremy's suggestion to use the beanstalk as our Christmas tree brought everything full circle. It's so very perfect.

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