My Tiny Tree
On being big enough.
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I get the appeal of tiny Christmas trees. They work well for small spaces, many a New York apartment will boast a shrunken spruce atop a kitchen table because where the hell else is it supposed to go? Some of us have lived with less floor space than a linen closet, we do what we must. But for me, tiny trees meant something else entirely. They meant I didn’t deserve one bigger.
My first tiny tree was purchased for me by a romantic partner about 16 years ago. I’d never had a tree of any kind in my home because I was raised Jewish and even the suggestion that I liked anything about Christmas would paint me a bad Jew, a bad family member, and just an all-around incorrect person who should be ashamed of herself. Why enjoying sparkly lights as a seven-year-old automatically means you believe Jesus is the son of god I’ll never know. That first tiny tree was “good enough,” because I’d never had one before, my apartment was small, and if I’m honest, he was cheap.