Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joey's Lobster Trap Tree Poll

Our good buddy Joe Ciaramitaro over at Good Morning Gloucester has a poll going on who has the best Lobster Trap Tree. This is the picture of it I shamelessly stole from him:
It's beautiful, isn't it? I drove down to see it the other night and I think it is our prettiest one ever. Of course I say that every year but it just keeps getting prettier. Anyway, Joe has pictures of lobster trap trees from two other communities posted and has very carefully constructed his poll questions to be unbiased and impartial in order not to prejudice your choice. You really need to click on the link above and go over there and vote.

The idea of a Lobster Trap Tree is charming and so appropriate for fishing communities where lobstering is a large part of the economy. Our Lobster Trap Tree, which is built on the plaza outside the police station, is decorated with dozens of lobster buoys painted by the children from Art Haven, a local arts program for kids.  When the tree comes down in January the buoys will be saved and later in the year there is an auction at Cruiseport where everyone can bid on the buoys to raise money for various local charities. It is an admirable endeavor and some of our young artists get tremendous encouragement when they see their buoys command good prices.

As most people who know me know, I have mixed feelings about Christmas. I used to be a devout fan but some years back something in me broke and I haven't succeeded in getting it back. I still love the "feeling" of Christmas, the sort of mystical reverence for a time in the year which always seems magical, but I can no longer deal with the craziness -- I've seen all the plays, attended all the concerts, gone to all the parties, and given and received all the presents I care to. The whole commercial aspect just turns me off completely and I adamantly refuse to take part in it. For awhile I thought I was just a Scrooge or a tightwad or an a-hole but every year when I hear my friends and family start going through their annual recitations of how much they have gotten done "for Christmas", how much they have yet to do "for Christmas", how badly they have over-spent "for Christmas", etc. etc. I decided I wanted out of that madness. And I left.

So I am doing this year what I have done for five Christmases now -- I am loving the Lobster Trap Tree, and spending quiet time enjoying the snuggled-in mystery of the season, but avoiding the communal aspect of it. I wish I didn't feel like such a grump but it feels like the best way to honor the symbolic birth of Christ -- but not being crazed, resentful, and in a dither. I've had my share of festive Christmases filled with relatives and friends and presents up to our eyeballs. Now I want serenity and quiet joy.

Thanks for reading.


  1. ..."synbolic birth of Christ"? My dear, Christmas is the celebration of his actual birth, not his 'symbolic' did you ever come up with that one! Hugs

  2. I'm pretty sure December 25th is the symbolic date, the actual date was more likely in the spring when the shepherds were in the fields with the newborn lambs. But either way is fine with me.

  3. You don't have to feel like a grump for avoiding something that drains you physically, emotionally and financially.

    My family stopped "Doing Christmas" years ago. Now we get together for a regular old dinner at some point in December, have a lot of laughs, and no stress. It's awesome.

  4. Thanks, Carla. I find Christmas to be so draining even when I don't do anything much. It is just something about ll the hyper-emotionalism of the season, it wears me out and makes me miserable. The day after Christmas I always feel like a huge weight has been lifted. So strange. I appreciate your comments.


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