The invisible Christmas tree
My mother often told me stories of her childhood centered around the creations of her father, who was equal parts artist and madman. My favorite was of the inverted Christmas tree: As if by magic and in the span of a single night, my grandfather would arrange boughs to form an upside-down tree hanging from the chandelier over the dining room table. He would decorate the tree with ornaments, flowers, and fruits dangling from ribbons. I always wished I’d been able to see it for myself, but the story was enough to inspire me.
I’d long toyed with the idea of creating an invisible Christmas tree — a constellation of ornaments and lights, hanging effortlessly in the air like a snow flurry frozen in time. In late 2011, my idea was brought to life with the help of my entire family — my mother, father, sister, grandmother, and aunt all pitched in at various points. The entire dining room was transformed, with a cone of snowflakes and white lights forming the glittering core of the tree in the bay window, and a flurry blanketing the entire ceiling. The result was a breathtaking Christmas spectacle.