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Vintage photographs of women posing with their pagan fertility symbols
12.23.2016
08:13 am

Topics:
Amusing
Belief

Tags:
photographs
pagan
Christmas tree

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Every Fall I keep my eyes peeled for the appearance of the first Christmas tree. They seem to come earlier every year. The earliest I’ve ever seen one was at the end of September last year when a bright glittering aluminum tree appeared high in a tenement window in the north of the city.

By December windows all across town are glowing bright with colored lights like so many opened windows on an Advent calendar. The earlier the tree, the more likely it is to be aluminum—or “artificial” as we call it in the UK—for obvious reasons.

My parents always had a fake tree, which was taken down from the attic during the second week of December then covered with baubles, tinsel, candy canes and lights. The usual kinda stuff. There was always a great pleasure taken in decorating the tree—a childish excitement at the fast approaching holidays.

Which brings me to these fine vintage photographs from the 1950s and 1960s of women proudly sitting or standing beside their Christmas trees—looking all happy and proud. Though these are quite wonderfully festive pictures they kinda overlook the original history of such seasonal trees as giant phallic symbols that have a pagan history going way back to ancient times.

Depending on who you read the Christmas tree became fashionable with northern Europeans around the mid-fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Estonia and Latvia still bicker over who put up the first Christmas tree—the Estonian’s claim they did in 1441—while the Latvians point out they have documentary evidence to the first decorated Christmas tree displayed in Riga in 1510.

Thereafter, the use of trees to celebrate Christmas spreads to northern Germany where the first printed reference of such festive firs appears in 1531. These trees were later decorated with cake, candles and even glass baubles.

This tradition spread to England where in 1800 Queen Charlotte the German wife of George III, “set up the first known English tree at Queen’s Lodge, Windsor, in December, 1800.” It would take until during the 1840s when—after their promotion by Prince Albert (the German husband of Queen Victoria) and through Charles Dickens’s popular festive tales—decorated Christmas trees became a seasonal “thing” in people’s houses, rather than town squares or churches. The Christmas tree was seen as a symbol of renewal and hope—which kinda takes it back to its pagan history.

Long, long before Victorians popularized the Xmas tree—the ancient Greeks considered pine trees as sacred to Attis the god of flora and Cybele the Earth goddess. The Greeks were said to decorate their trees with small silver trinkets as a symbol of rebirth and renewal—which was similar to how the ancient Egyptians viewed their palm trees, using palm leaves to decorate their homes as as “sign of resurrection.”

Then there were the Romans who associated evergreens with the return of the sun during their festivities for Saturnalia during December—a period of gift giving, feasting and human sacrifice. The Romans decorated their “trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus [a fertility god]. They also placed 12 candles on the tree in honor of their sun god.”

The evergreen fir tree was seen as a highly potent phallic symbol for continuing fertility during the winter solstice—symbolizing the soon approaching Spring and the birth of new life.
 
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Just waitin’ for Santa.
 
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Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.
 
More festive women and their Xmas trees, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Fabulous ‘Mermen’ Christmas ornaments to make your tree gay & bright this year!
12.20.2016
10:24 am

Topics:
Amusing
Queer

Tags:
Christmas tree


‘Bear Merman’ glass ornament. Get it here.
 
If you’re still looking for the perfect holiday gift I have good news for you. While I was finishing up my own shopping I came across these absolutely fabulous ‘Merman” tree ornaments that totally made my day.

Made by a Florida-based company called Diamonds of the Sea there is a nice variety of glass Mermen for you to choose from such as a Lumberjack carrying some (ahem) wood, a cop, and a my personal favorite a “bear” complete with a hairy chest, mustache and beard. If this all sounds good to you then I have even better news because many of the Mermen can still ship out in time to be the greatest Christmas gift ever.

I’ve posted loads of pictures of the adorable, shirtless Mermen for you to consider below along with links to where they can be purchased. Because if you don’t know anyone that would appreciate a gay Merman ornament then you’re probably hanging out with the wrong people. Merry Christmas!
 

‘Lumberjack Merman.’ Get it here.
 

‘P-Town Merman.’ Get it here.
 
More merry Mermen after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Unplugged: Controversial Xmas ‘Tree’ sculpture deflated by vandals
10.18.2014
10:05 am

Topics:
Activism
Amusing
Art

Tags:
Paul McCarthy
Christmas tree
Tree

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This morning Parisians awoke to find Paul McCarthy’s controversial sculpture “Tree” looking like a discarded giant prophylactic after it was deflated by vandals at the Place Vendôme, Paris, during the night.

Since its installation the art work has divided opinion with many Parisians outraged by the 80 foot sculpture’s similarity to an… er… adult novelty item. Well, it now turns out that “Tree” was indeed inspired by that very item as artist McCarthy told Le Monde newspaper that “It all started as a joke.”

“...I realised it resembled a Christmas tree, but it is an abstract work. People can be offended if they want to think of it as a plug, but for me it is more of an abstraction.”

The “abstraction” was lost on some Parisians with one irate passerby slapping the 69-year-old artist in the face and shouting:

“You’re not French and this has no place in the square.”

McCarthy was allegedly dazed but unhurt by the assault and asked:

“Does this sort of thing happen often in Paris?”

The sculpture was specially created by the artist for Paris’s International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) that is being held in the city between 23rd-26th October. McCarthy’s previous work includes an enormous Santa Claus with what some critics claim is an unfeasibly large implement in his hand and a sculpture of former US President George W Bush getting intimate with pigs.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, vandals climbed the metal fence surrounding the giant sculpture before cutting the power supply that pumped air into the inflatable and slashing the tether that kept it upright.

According to the Daily Telegraph, McCarthy said he did not want the sculpture re-inflated or repaired. However, the paper also reported that organisers at FIAC said the sculpture would be “re-installed” as soon as possible. Now, that sounds painful…
 

 
Via the Daily Telegraph

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Furious mayor declares his city’s Christmas tree the ‘worst in the world’
12.18.2013
11:27 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Christmas tree


 
Mayor Darryn Lyons, of Geelong in Australia, has declared his city’s Christmas tree to be the worst in the world and he ain’t too happy about it. “It’s an absolute disgrace,” Mayor Lyons said.

Apparently the tree set the city back $30,000 (£16,500, US$27,000). AND the starfish decorations. Don’t get Mayor Lyons started on the starfish decorations.
 

 
Via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment