Merry Bookmass!

There is a great library space at our firm, filled with all kinds of law books. Of course, technology being what it is, those grave, bound volumes of paper that represent the brooding omnipresence of the law and its teachings aren’t really used anymore. Everybody tends to do their research using on-line resources. The books, in the meantime, look impressive on shelves — but that’s about it.

When our research staff approached the task of decorating the library for the holidays, however, they came up with a creative use for the books, which have been carefully stacked and configured to resemble a Christmas tree. Pretty cool! And it’s good to see those old volumes taken off the shelves once more.

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Bookmass!

No Tannenbaum

IMG_7623This year, Kish and I have decided to go tree-free for the holidays.

It wasn’t a hard decision, really.  We considered getting a tree — briefly — but quickly concluded that it would be more of a pain to deal with than we really wanted.  It may come across as Grinchy behavior, but we figured that we certainly weren’t going to get a fake tree, and we didn’t want the sappy mess and falling needles and dog drinking out of tree holder and tree-falling-over-after-you’ve-totally-decorated-it-and-breaking-family-heirlooms issues with a real tree.

So we’ve gone in an alternative direction with our Christmas decorations this year, with some poinsettias and lots of pine cones and the really beautiful dining room table runner that Kish found at the Golden Hobby senior craft store just down the street, shown above, and the rockin’ Christmas tree op art plate that picked up a few years ago, shown below.  We like being tree-free!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum

We’ll do without thy branches!

Your needles fall, in constant flow

You topple o’er, and bulbs doth go

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum

We’ll do without thy branches!


Rock Center Christmas

According to Ordinance 330(j) of the New York City Municipal Code, if you are in the Big Apple in December you are required to visit the holiday decorations at Rockefeller Center at least once.  (The Rockettes, however, are optional).

Yesterday, we satisfied our legal obligations.

The area around Rockefeller Center was jammed.  The skaters were there, and so was the towering Christmas tree, and golden Prometheus was floating above the ice rink, bringing fire to the chilled masses.  An officious, leather-lunged police officer was trying desperately to keep people from standing on benches to take photos.  Good luck with that, officer!

After slowly moving through the throng, dodging mothers who were aggressively using their children’s strollers to clear a path through the madness and commenting on how the tree was not as large as we thought it would be, we exited on the Fifth Avenue side, past a gantlet of trumpeting angels.  A Salvation Army group was pumping out Christmas music, and the Christmas spirit was heavy in the air.

To Tree Or Not To Tree?

That is the question.  Whether ’tis . . .  Well, you get the idea.  We’re trying to decide whether to put up a Christmas tree this year.  It’s a tough decision that surely would give Hamlet pause.

On the pro side, I like the look of a tree.  It’s festive, it’s colorful, and it’s traditional.  We’ve had many of our ornaments for years, and they have some real sentimental value.  A pine tree in the house smells good.  (I would never get a fake tree.)  And, I don’t want to seem like a Grinch.  If you’re celebrating the holidays, why not go the whole nine yards?

On the con side, a Christmas tree is a pain to lug home, put up, and take down.  My initial job is always to bring the tree in and get the trunk of the tree into the tree stand.  I wrestle the tree through the door and leave a green trail of pine needles from the door to the corner where we put up the tree.  Then I get on my belly, scuttle under the tree while getting poked by pine needles and soaked by tree droppings, and try to figure out how to configure the stupid screws in the tree stand against the knots and burls of the tree trunk to hold the tree in true upright position.  Inevitably, despite my finest screw-related calibrations, the tree tilts and falls down, unleashing a torrent of unseemly language that is utterly antithetical to such fundamental Christmas concepts as joy and peace.

After the tree is finally up, we have to find the Christmas ornaments in the basement, get the tree lights out and see if they work, and schlep all the stuff upstairs.  While we are decorating the tree, Penny is clamping down on low-lying ornaments and pulling them off the tree or, worse, pulling the tree down for good measure.  Even Good King Wenceslas would be feeling uncharitable by this point.

This year I’m inclined to nix the tree and go with the stockings, perhaps a poinsettia or two, and maybe a candle arrangement.  Call me Scrooge.  And I just know I’ll feel guilty about it.