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Veronique de Turenne


christmas trees -- alive!
Here it is, the holiday season, the four-week stretch by which, beyond all reason, our retail economy measures its success. Can someone please explain the logic? It's also the time of year my, well, eclectic religious background gets a workout. I was born in Paris and baptized Catholic, moved to the U.S. where my grandfather, an unwavering Tsarist to his dying day, took me to his Russian Orthodox church. Then, via a parent's re-marriage, came a decade of Judaism. In college, via a cute boyfriend, came Buddhism. Turns out, God is everywhere.

So each December we have Hanukkah and two different Christmases (Russian Orthodoxy follows the Julian calendar) and -- my personal favorite and, if you think about it, the true new year -- the winter solstice. We also get a living Christmas tree, a Monterey pine if at all possible, since it's a California native and loves the coast.

For a few years Monterey pines, beset by killer beetles, vanished from our local nurseries. They're back now (these are at Treeland in Calabasas, where I've bought my solstice Christmas tree for the last 15 years) as strong and green and fragrant as ever.

Next entry: Malibu flyboys get grounded in Bluffs Park

More by Veronique de Turenne:
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