Art object & Christmas tree – PossibiliTree


Bringing a Christmas tree inside is actually a relatively new phenomenon. It does not go back to pagan times. It started in Germany, where one tree was brought into the local guild hall but  not into every house. That custom was then brought to England in the early nineteenth century, where for a long time it was confined to royalty. It was viewed with suspicion by many, including Charles Dickens, for the sole reason that it seemed German. What many houses did have in Western Europe did have was a sort of wooden Christmas pyramid (still common today in Germany) that could be decorated and sometimes hung from the ceiling. (Pyramids may also have played a role in the summer solstice – see the Wikipedia article.)

This wooden tree, made sustainably from scrap hardwood in the U.S., seems fairly close to this older tradition. This object has such nice geometry you could actually leave it out all year minus the Christmas decorations. It is called the PossibiliTree. At Christmas, if you wanted that Christmas tree smell, it would be simple to get a few boughs and tie them to these branches. I usually have a policy of not encouraging people to buy things on this blog, because I don’t like consumerism and I think people should always go DIY, but this is one of those objects that’s so well made, so well-conceived, and so environmentally friendly that I think people interested in Christmas should consider one. It has a midcentury modern feel, and I seem to remember that one of the Eames playing cards had an image of an object something like this. Maybe that’s partly why I like it so much. There are different sizes; this is the smaller one which can stand on a table as well as sit on the floor. The largest one is suspended from a hook in the ceiling—which is very easy to do. There are different colours too—walnut, birch and cherry. The tree arrives in a mailing tube and you assemble it yourself, which is apparently not difficult. If you don’t like chopping down a tree every Christmas, this seems like a great idea, so much better than a synthetic tree. It’s made on this continent, too, out of local hardwood trees. Order here: Possibilitree. PS the price of the 6′ suspended tree has come down substantially (though is still not cheap, especially with a low Canadian dollar).


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