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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… certainly everywhere around town — like at the Bryant Park Christmas Market. This debuted 04/5, reminding me of the Kriskindelmarkt in Vienna, and similarly packed with hot cider vendors, sellers of all things Christmassy… and not. Certainly a whole lot of fun, and moreso since Citibank added a free ice skating rink.

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This year, the organizers added a Christmas tree. (Here I am in its enveloping boughs.) Interestingly, there has been outrage from the Rockerfeller Centre organizers, who see this “second tree” as a competing imposter. I can’t see how, since it’s smaller and doesn’t have a televised and well-known lighting ceremony. Oh well. What it does have going for it is some delightful ornaments and the possibility to get as close as you like.

And the Christmas spirit has also taken root in our apartment. Behold, our tree is up! This year, unlike previous ones, we decided to have a quiet tree-trimming with just the three of us. (Okay, Calvin couldn’t contribute much beyond hiccoughs and a series of sprightly moves, but that was participation enough.)

The tree this year as in years past, is a Fraser Fir. And the smell of fresh evergreen has wafted pleasantly around the rooms. This tree came from northern Maine, from the same family that makes their annual tree-selling pilgrimmage to W43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue every year.

tractor.jpgEach year I’ve selected one new ornament (on odd occasion multiples when they were sold that way.) This year we found a fragrant and exotic choice at the Bryant Park Christmas Market — a moon made from woven clove seeds.

But the real star of this year’s tree was an unexpected gift from D. A jaunty, red tractor ornament that has pride of place upper centre of the tree (see above).

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