My Christmas tradition

When I was a kid, I had a little fake tree for Christmas, and a whole box of cheap wooden earrings shaped like parrots. I’d gotten them on sale at the shop of a bird-breeder friend of the family, and I used them as ornaments.

Gradually the tree and the earrings fell apart, to the point they weren’t worth keeping anymore. But the tradition lives on.

My tree now is made of copper wire, which I twisted into branches and planted in a round ceramic pot.

Each year, I buy a pair of earrings from some independent artist on Etsy: earrings with gemstones and birds. All sorts of gemstones, all sorts of birds, many different artists, supporting a new small-time jeweler every year. Once I bought a big round ring for a tree topper.

I fill the extra space with ball ornaments, but as time goes on, I’ll need fewer of those. I bought and cut the copper wire with serious consideration for the number of end twigs it would give me, and there are hundreds. Copper lasts forever. In another eighty years, the tree may be totally covered with shiny birds.

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