It’s November 1, which means I can officially start writing about Christmas again. This will be the first year of my life when I’ll miss the ability to gawk at New York storefront window displays. There will be no gingerbread latte for me (decaf just isn’t the same). I’ll need to make my own light, here in Texas.
Last year I waited until December to discuss the quiet delights of the season: the crinkled pockets that housed our family ornaments, the dressing beneath the tree, the warm recipes of childhood favorites. This year, I’m doing something different.
I’ve been asked to decorate and design a tree for University Co-op, which is not, I assure you, an organization linked to Barney’s Co-op warehouse sale. Founded in 1896, the non-profit Co-op is an enormous UT bookstore owned by students, faculty, and staff, which donated $2,000,000 last year alone. This year, along with Andy Roddick (Tennis heartthrob), Kathy Valentine (Bassist for The Go Go’s), Ben Crenshaw (Legendary golfer), and many others I’ll be participating in their Christmas Tree Program, where proceeds will go to support a developing elementary school, with students drawn primarily from minority and low income households.
1. Under The Sea: A NAUTICAL NOEL
This is an option involving sweet mermaid ornaments, nautilus, starfish, glass urchin, and pieces of coral (view the most darling ornaments ever!). Instead of popcorn, we could string seashells.
2. PROJECT RUNWAY: A FASHIONISTA FESTIVUS
I’d include some glamor among the designer threads: chandelier pieces, vintage perfume bottles, measuring tapes, small clothing bodice forms, Barbies dressed in couture, fashion house logos, stringing the tree with "Laura’s pearls." Those damn granny puff twists. A small reminder of all the contestants, I suppose. A nod to the Paris episodes: cute felt berets, miniature street lampposts. You get the idea.
3. Children’s Nursery Rhymes: A MOTHER GOOSE TREE
As an expectant mother, I thought this could be fun. Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Patty Cake, Cow jumping over moon, Yellow Madeline Hat, Babar, Curious George, Nipple Shields & Breast Pump parts. Fa la la la la…
4. Gourmet Holiday: A FOODIE TREE
Imagine a wall of Williams-Sonoma gadgets, whisks, spatulas, cookies, tea cups, small pots and pans, cookie cutters. You get the idea. I’ve decided on this last idea… of the Foodie Tree. And I need your help. I need ideas for a foodie tree (not votes on which idea I should do). I’d also LOVE IT if you’d mail in an ornament that I’d use on the tree!
All of the Co-op trees will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to support the elementary school. Attendees will vote for their favorite tree by donating $1. This is going to be so much fun, and I’d love to include all of you, your ideas, and your ornaments!