It's hard to decorate a palm tree. Probably never crossed your mind before but facts are facts. And the fact is, the shape, the texture, the size of a palm tree does not lend itself easily to decorating. And yet, people do. At least some of these people here on the island do.
We have, here on Venice Island, a surprisingly large number of parks. Some larger, some smaller, all charming and one, an arboretum. It is a lovely place to walk, with a path, a gazebo and many varieties of shrubs and trees, all labeled. Naturally, this being Florida, a considerable number of those trees are palm trees. Considering that there are more than 2500 different varities of palm trees in existence, I think there is a very nice sampling. Hard to imagine that many different ways to make the exact same tree and yet, there it is. Some only look a tiny bit different to the uneducated eye, others tremendously dissimilar. Still each of them share at least one thing in common. They are hard to decorate.
We took a walk last weekend and ended up at the arboretum. It was filling up rapidly with people preparing for an event. We learned that it was the official annual Tree Lighting ceremony of the arboretum that was being set up. Decorations at every turn. It seems that groups and individuals take responsibility for a tree and dress it up pretty for the season. Each group or person's take on Christmas Decor was different and a delight. But it was obvious immediately that some greenery lends itself more easily to being "fancied up". And we loved how people faced this challenge.
ere was a lot of "wrap the belly" methodology going on. The more slender varities of palm are, I'm sure, easier to wrap but the fatter bellied trees must be like putting a belt on Santa himself, or tying a ribbon around a globe. Still, whether it was a rope light, brightly coloured garland or a string of old fashioned lights, it was festive and bright.
Everything imaginable was dangling from these trees, from traditional balls to glittering snowflakes to the silly flipflop tree. There were silver bells and red bows, bright green "fish" and re-purposed real shells, there were snowmen and snoopys, reindeer and angels, each of them waiting to be admired by the gathering crowds.
Some people didn't try to wrap the trunk, regardless of it's shape and instead stacked decorations at the base. There were wreaths and faux trees and gingerbread men. There were even stacks of "gifts" sitting below the tree as if Santa had just placed them to be opened Christmas morning.
We walked and marvelled over the creativity and enjoyed our stroll. We will make it a point to go back after dark one night before Christmas to see it again with the lights all aglow.
There was not one single duplication in decoration which amazes me. As many different types of palm trees as there are, there are at least that many different ways to dress it, or so it seems. Some were rather minimalist, some very tastefully done in moderation and a few that were decorated to the max. I think perhaps those were my favourites. The enthusiasm far outweighs any failings in "taste" as far as I'm concerned. The best dressed trees are the over dressed trees. And that goes double for palm trees.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.