oh, celluloid tree …

I have not been in the mood this year to do a lot of Christmas-y stuff. For one thing, all this ruckus about “It’s Christmas and we should say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays” tends to sour me a little on the holiday season. Arguments and expressions of prejudice should not be a part of a holiday, no matter what your relatives may tell you at the holiday dinner table.
Or maybe that has nothing to do with my reluctance to decorate the house, send greeting cards, shop for gifts, and generally participate in the flurry of holiday activity common to this time of year. It could be a million reasons. But I decided late last week that I didn’t want to mess with putting up and decorating our Christmas tree this year.
You may have seen photos of the tree from previous years. It is pink and sparkly and usually features a lot of snowflake and snowman ornaments, plus a few penguins and some more subversive decorations. For example, we established a tradition with the Drinky Snowman. We also had a cute SpongeBob candy cane, but it was real candy and finally dissolved.

The tree is cute but the lights are a total pain and then I was worried that the cat, whose first Christmas this is with us, might find a way to leap on the cabinet and attack the tree. Many of my favorite holiday ornaments are breakable. Or maybe I’m was in some sort of Christmas denial and all these little excuses are part of a bigger picture.
A couple of days ago, The Beau and I were discussing something or other about movies. Maybe we were talking about the trailers I bought at Alamo’s t-shirt rummage sale a few weeks ago. For $1 you could buy a trailer: a roll of the actual 35mm film sent by the distributors that the theater projects before movies. I bought Domino as a gag gift for my youngest brother, and Bride and Prejudice for myself for no apparent reason. I thought maybe my friend who liked the movie a lot could help me think of something vaguely crafty to do with the film, like make earrings.
Instead, I realized that the trailer film could be used to decorate a Christmas tree. A movie tree! What a fun idea. Suddenly I was enthusiastic about putting up the pink and sparkly tree. I am not sure that Bride and Prejudice is the ideal film footage for decorating a holiday tree, but it’s what I had and who cares? (I do wish I had Bad Santa or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang footage. Perhaps another year.)
I put on some festive holiday music earlier this evening and started working on the tree. The nice thing about looping a roll of film around a tree is that there is really no way to do it incorrectly. It looks fun and loopy and cool no matter what you do. I didn’t put lights on the tree because I was worried about fire potential, so it is a daytime sort of tree. I decided that I would put only film-related decorations on the tree, although I made a couple of exceptions for movie-ish items (like the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) and Drinky Snowman.
I found some scraps of blue and white leader film from old family Super 8 movies. I put my Kurosawa action figures under the tree … a new kind of Three Wise Men, perhaps. Out of all my ornaments, I had very few film-related ones, but my mom had given me the Wicked Witch of the West and a set of Casablanca figures and I found the spaceships from the first Star Wars series. Some Muppet finger puppets on candy canes helped fill out the tree. I tried adding movie-poster postcards, but only the landscape ones (wide, not tall) fit on the tree: Goldfinger and The Graduate. I said I wouldn’t buy any more Christmas ornaments but I think I will have to relax that rule for a SpongeBob ornament or The Beau will be sad.
I thought about adding my Scarlett O’Hara ceramic figure to the tree’s base, but if the cat decided to make a visit, that would break pretty easily. Right now there’s nothing much breakable on the tree. It’s still a little skimpy on ornaments, but it looks good enough for me.
I should stop talking about the tree and post a picture already. Here it is, the Celluloid Tree:

If you want to see some of the finer details of the tree’s decorations, I posted more photos to this set in Flickr. Enjoy. And merry moviemas!
P.S. Mondo Tees is having another rummage sale this Friday, Dec. 16 at 5 pm at the Alamo on South Lamar. So if you want some trailer footage of your very own to decorate your tree, that’s a great place to find it. I’m sure they have plenty of rolls left. If you’re craftier than I am, you could even make a whole celluloid wreath.

One thought on “oh, celluloid tree …”

  1. I love it!
    And Bride and Prejudice is so colorful and happy-dancey, I think it’s a wonderfully choice. (Though, Bad Santa, man, would that rock.)
    I wish somebody in Dallas would do this.

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