Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Scents of a New York Christmas

Every year, right after Thanksgiving, tree sellers arrive en masse in New York. Setting up stands on street corners, at park entrances (like above), by shops, in green markets, and in empty lots, these vendors camp out (often literally in small campers) selling Christmas trees to New Yorkers from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Many return to the same locations year after year, becoming neighborhood fixtures. There's a real sense of community, even family, between the vendors and local merchants -- very similar to that experienced by designers attending needlework trade shows, or artisans at craft fairs.

The added bonus to all these tree stands throughout the city is the scent - that pungent, unmistakeable smell of evergreen which instantly shouts 'Christmas!' It's everywhere, and as you walk past a stand, you find yourself inhaling deeply, reveling in the wonderful scent.

I was thrilled to discover this tree vendor setting up across the street from my apartment Thanksgiving weekend. Usually I have to drag a tree home for blocks, the tree precariously balanced in my grocery cart. I couldn't wait to get my tree - it was going to be so easy!

Before I purchased my tree, I'd cross the street and take a deep breath whenever I needed a quick lift to my spirits. I often took the bus home rather than the subway because the bus stop was right next to the tree stand, and the scent welcomed me as I hopped off the bus.

Finally, over the weekend, I bought my tree. It's a frasier fir - my favorite evergreen for a Christmas tree as it's full but narrow, allowing for the proper display of a significant number of ornaments, something that's particularly important since I have an extremely large and every expanding collection of ornaments! The scent is wonderful -- permeating the apartment with the scent of Christmas.

See how pretty it looks? Although I think I can still fit a few more ornaments on it...what do you think? And no, the St. Nicholas tree topper isn't tipsy -- it's just that the top of the tree is off center and very thin. It gives the tree a little character!

Cynthia and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!



  1. I love your tree! Beautiful and full of character!!

  2. Thank you so much! I received my prize in the mail from the 12 Days of Christmas contest on Stitcher's Village! It is awesome! Love your photos of Christmas in NYC. If I am ever in NYC, I will be sure to stop by. I posted on my blog as well

  3. Catherine - one of the reasons I so love real trees is that no two are ever alike, and they always have a lot of character. So glad you enjoyed my pictures of this year's tree.

  4. Robin - I enjoyed reading your stitching blog and we are thrilled that you featured your win! Do give us a call if you are ever in NYC. In the meantime, enjoy making the Reticella Accessories.